Tag Archives: New Year New You

New Year New You 2018 – Week Seven: In the Muddy Middle

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 it’s important to work on specific things to further your goals. What’s the hardest thing for you to do? What do you keep putting off? Do it now. […] Show the universe what kind of wonders you’re capable of this week.
 

“Challenge”
Wildwood Tarot’s Two of Stones
Two hares boxing on their hind legs.


 
Tarot Card: Two of Earth (Moment to Moment).
I chose this card because it touches on the hustle. Working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Trying to find the balance and the solidity under your feet when things don’t feel solid at all.
 
I spent most of May applying for part-time admin work. One of those applications led to an interview(!) BUT… I didn’t get the job. I found that out last Wednesday. Spent about half a day feeling just so crushed and demoralized, and then it was time to drag my butt out the door and go to the job I already have (which, tbh, is much more in line with my idealized glamourous life than office work, and which actually makes me happy).
Basically, I had to remind myself that while, no, things aren’t all suddenly coming up roses, they aren’t actually any worse than they were three weeks ago.
This is not the end of the world.
 
However. Because I spent so much time pushing (everything from doing magic to finding editing-related reference-people) for this position, I’ve been feeling like the rest of my Empress Project has been taking a back seat. I mean, yes, the Empress is a boss-lady who handles all things abundant, so (magically and practically) pushing for some mundane-world financial stability isn’t exactly off-topic. But I’ve been feeling the Exile hard of late and, while I still need to keep one hand on that particular wheel, I need to get back into the rest of that project, too.
 
So. Things I can do right now (which is a good time to do it, because I don’t have a lot of paid work booked this week – though I’d be more than happy to have that change) to bring myself back on track in a more well-rounded way:
 
I can put together a few poetry submissions. I didn’t send any submissions out in May – like at all – so it’s time for me to get myself back to submitting to three places per month. (On the plus side, I’ve been invited – for a given value of invited – to submit to one place already, so that’s a nice jump-start to that task).
I can, likewise, finish my chapbook (still need to do a couple of re-writes and then polish it) with an eye to sending it out for publication.
I can write more glosas and blog about the poets who inspired them.
 
I can do the personal and home maintenance stuff that I’ve been neglecting, so that my home feels inviting and so that I feel up to visiting with people.
I can invite friends over to drink kombucha and eat rhubarb muffins in my garden, to reinforce the ties of my social net.
 
I can go on dates with my wife.
I can flirt[1] with people, and see if it goes anywhere.
I can talk about my Feeeeelings and ask questions when I need peoples actions clarified, instead of just assuming the worst.
 
Anyway. Things I can do TODAY include: Laundry and Poetry-writing, so I’m going to go and do that now.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Haha. Which I didn’t do particularly much, or particularly well, when I went to Queering Power over the weekend. But I do have a couple of in-town people who are interested in doing needle scenes with me, which is pretty great. 😀

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New Year New You 2018 – Week Six: Glamour Magic is A Love Letter To My Body

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“.
 

A Lady of the Lake figure, with the torso of a human woman and the legs and tail of something more reptilian, holds a mirror in one hand and the full moon in the other. There is a great blue heron, wearing an amulet, in the foreground. In the background, a small boat carries a shrouded figure (possibly a corpse). Further back, is a very small island that appears to have a door in the side.
In the Wildwood Tarot, the Twelfth card of the Major Arcana is called “The Mirror”. More traditionally, it’s The Hanged Man.


 
Tarot Card: The Mirror.
I chose this card from this deck specifically because of the “mirror” name. We are talking glamoury and self-presentation, after all.
Elsewhere, the Hanged Man has been named everything from Intermission to New Vision, and they are all at least a little bit relevant. They all involve changes of perspective. They all involve pausing to reflect.
What I think is really interesting, though, is that The Hanged Man has connotations of being open, being vulnerable. I wasn’t expecting that. (I mean, I suppose if you’re literally hanging by your ankle, that’s a pretty vulnerable position to be in, but it still came as a surprise). And there’s a fair bit of that in glamoury. It’s not a mask. It’s not a false front. It’s you, shined up and gleaming and refusing to compartmentalize yourself for anybody else’s comfort. It’s you being your own velvet rope.
 
I have to admit that, after (putting off) last week’s prompt, I’m finding Week Six to be weirdly easy? Like for the first time ever (I’ve done this Experiment a number of times at this point) I’m not going into The Glamour Prompt feeling defensive or otherwise dreading it. Maybe because I’ve been doing deliberate glamour magic for something like 8 months now, or because I’m feeling a little more solid around stuff like “dressing your age” when I want and need it to mean something other than “dress like someone who works as an office admin” (even when I do, periodically, work as an office admin… and find myself woefully under-prepared in the clothes department for anything more than about a two-day contract).
Regardless, when I clicked on the prompt to remind myself what it was? I was relieved. Like “Oh. Glamour. Got it covered!”
And, on some levels, I do. My bras fit. I know how to mend my own socks and make/modify my own clothes (so they fit). I’m getting better at contouring/highlighting. I’m dressing with a certain degree of intention. I went back to dying my hair “bisexual burgundy” because I missed it and, even having done a pretty spotty job of it, I’m really happy to have “my” hair back. (This is what happens when you notice how many red-heads are in your personal Glamour Glossary and then land en excuse to go back to your power colour). I started (very recently) doing daily bendy-stretchy exercises to complement my preexisting core-strengthening exercises, and incorporating affirmations-as-spell-craft into the whole routine, in the interest of being – ha – open (and vulnerable) to everything from hot pick-up sex to the possibility that unexpected changes are not only not the end of the world, but might actually be positive. I described my own body, a week ago, as gorgeous and lovable.
Which I guess brings me to:
 
One of Ms Sugar’s suggestions was to write a love-letter to your own body. So I did.

Dear Body,
I love you.
I love us?
 
I love that we can get places on foot, even when they’re 6-8 km away from our starting point. I love that we can walk up five flights of stairs without feeling like our chest is going to explode. I love that we are able to mitigate our lower back problems substantially through physiotherapy done through the lens of very selective yoga poses. I love that we are getting stronger. I love that we have curvy hips and solid thighs and broad shoulders. I love our long hair and strong neck. I love that we’re singing and doing warm-up exercises again, because it’s good for our head (or seems to be, so far). I love that we are getting more flexible, too.
 
I love that we can communicate. I love that we made the time to learn how to communicate and keep communicating. I love that when our sense-of-self dissociates, we know how to come back together again.
I love that we are a fully autonomous musical instrument, that we can send our sound up to two blocks away, farther if we are up high. I love that we have powerful core muscles and powerful face muscles and deep, deep, open lungs, to do this with and that we know how to do it on purpose. I love the notes we can hit and make them ring like bells. I love that we can sing things into being.
 
I love that our ears can pick up a tune, even if they can’t pick up the thread of a specific conversation.
I love our capacity for pleasure, even when our brain-side has a really hard time allowing us to get there and go there, especially with a sexual partner, especially while bottoming. I love that we’re capable of letting go like that. Of roaring and laughing, of coming hard and gushing. I love that we KNOW this, even if we can’t do it reliably (yet).
 
I love that we enjoy warm wind on our bare legs, hot sun on our skin. I love that hot baths help us come back together again and again.
I love that we recognize our own skin hunger. I love that we are snuggly and enormous, intimidatingly huge. I love that we can dance, and that we practice dancing in our kitchen.
I love that we’re comfortable being naked.
I love that we’re close enough to the current cultural standard of beauty that we can make a living off of how we look and move and stand in this messed up world. I love that we’re far enough away from the current cultural standard of beauty that we can make people stare at us just by standing up, and that we can question that beauty standard and interrogate it, even just a little bit.
 
I love that we love food and eating. I love that we are gluttonous. I love that we have a resilient digestive system, and that we enjoy the taste of all those home-made ferments that help us maintain it. I love that we love subtle flavours and can tease them apart, recognize and name them, because our tongue is clever and attentive.
I love that we have unexpectedly good aim, despite having difficulty focusing our almost-forty-year-old eyes on distant targets. I love that our fingers are strong and dextrous and can peel the meat off a bone ‘til its bare without a lot of trouble.
I love that we can manage without glasses… so far… even if we know they’re coming. But I also love that we enjoy adornment, that glasses will be annoying, probably, but they’ll also be jewelry for our face.
 
I love that we can breathe easily. That we don’t have to hunt for fragrance-free everything, and can enjoy heavily scented perfume oils and massage bars and bath bombs. I love that we’re aware of what working in that factory did to us, and that standing over a pot of melted paraffin may give us headaches now, but that we can make beeswax candles from scratch instead, which is what we like anyway. I love our lung capacity, the ways we navigate having a cleft palate and the mouth/nose/throat issues that’s given us our whole life.
 
I love that we are a water ape, that our clever, attentive tongue and nose can tell what is safe to keep eating and what is best left alone. I love that our fingers are long. I love that we have good (ish?) balance. I love that we can use our strength and grace and balance and flexibility to put food on the table by gardening and foraging and also by modeling.
I love that we are a spell, on purpose. That we can use our voice, our dancing, our touch, to move energy around and through, and that we figured this out through singing lessons but also, by and large, through trial and error and guess-work, and it WORKED.
I love that we are big enough to get things off the high shelves without trying.
I love that we dance in public. I love that we eat in public. I love that we take up all this space in all these many ways.
I love us.
I love you.
I love us.

New Year New You 2018 – Week Five: Make the Holy Every-Day, Make the Every-Day Holy

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 are you going to do magically to make sure that your goals happened. This is the week to really focus on that.
 

High Priestess - Dark Days Tarot (Wren McMurdo) Someone with very long, dark hair is seated, cross-legged. Roses rise up from between their legs. A pomegranate and a crescent moon hover above their raised right hand. Glittering stars and the faces of generations of ancestors spill from the river of their hair.

High Priestess – Dark Days Tarot (Wren McMurdo)
Someone with very long, dark hair is seated, cross-legged. Roses rise up from between their legs. A pomegranate and a crescent moon hover above their raised right hand. Glittering stars and the faces of generations of ancestors spill from the river of their hair.


 
Tarot Card: High Priestess
I admit I chose this card slightly because I’ve been feeling stuck and this can be a card of stillness to the point of inaction or not-getting-involved and… I’ve been avoiding this prompt for months because of those feelings.
However, I mainly chose it for its connections to mystery, intuition, trusting your inner voice, connecting with hidden talents, self-knowledge, and with secrets and magic.
 
Earlier this week, Becoming Dangerous: Witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels on summoning the power to resist[1] arrived in the mail – at last! – and I’ve been digging into it hard since it turned up.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, I don’t think, what with me spinning my wheels going “What the heck magical thing can I DO??” and mostly just feeling slumped and stuck and completely unmotivated.
The essays – written predominantly by queer femmes – have been reminding me of what everyday magic looks like, that the stuff I do to put one foot in front of the other isn’t just survival, that it can be symbolic action, magical action, as well.
I needed that reminder, and I needed it badly.
 
I spent the morning writing myself a remind of what kinds of magic I am, or can be, doing when I go about my day-to-day. Like greeting my gods at the cross-roads, at the sight of green things pushing through the still-cold-but-waking ground, at the warmth of sunlight, brightness of moonlight, on my skin… everything I do can be a magical act, a holy-making/acknowledging act. Turning the compost, tending the ferments, lighting my altar candles, those are easy to ritualize, and I already do so (though I could stand to do it more reliably and frequently). I’m talking more about things like turning self-care stuff (like doing my back, hip, and leg exercises, cooking Real Meals from scratch, getting dressed in my I’m Awake clothes even when I’m not expecting to leave the house that day, and even showering regularly) into something that I conceptualize as body-honouring, glamour-making, goal-manifesting, creation magic.
 
Maybe it’s because it’s still well below freezing, or because I’ve been doing office work all week (and thus wearing office-appropriate (and polyester-lined!) clothes), but I needed to remind myself that dressing like the queer, femme, spooky-hippy, would-be-sexpot that I am is a way to make that reality manifest in real time.
So I dressed with intention this morning – even though it’s been a day of house-cleaning, mending, kitchen craft. Even though the laundry needs doing. Maybe especially so.
 
How much of my not-so-great house-keeping could I redefine as a way to symbolically (magically, thinking-in-things-ly) remind myself that I’m Worthy? Worthy of a clean house. Worthy of a functional kitchen. Fresh socks every day. Light that is warm and welcoming. Food that will actually nourish my gorgeous, lovable body[2]. And, more (or maybe just equally?) to the point, would that get me to do it more reliably and/or less resentfully?
 
Liz Worth says that the incoming Aries new moon is an “open door” to walk through in order to make changes in your life – which is relevant to my above re-framing in-so-far as a change of consciousness ( at will) is definitely making a change.
She also posted a tarot spread to help figure out where to take risks and what to reach for when that opportunity arrives, because everything might be a bit up in the air right now (Mercury’s still in Retrograde until tomorrow, and won’t start moving “forward” again for another few days after that).
I had a friend over for a tarot-and-shop-talk evening a few days ago, and gave Liz’s spread a whirl, in the hopes that a spare set of eyes would help make sense of things.
 

What is it time for me to begin? –> Queen of Cups
What fear must I leave behind in order to do this? –> Empress
How can I cultivate deeper confidence? –> Ace of Cups (with a Six of Cups drawn when I was, like, “Huh??”)
What can no longer hold me back? –> Five of Cups
 
Advisor: Five of Swords (R)
Over-Arching + Underlying Influences: Page of Cups + King of Wands (R)

 
Most of this makes plenty of sense.
If I want my Empress Project to be successful, if I want to achieve my goals, I need to stop being afraid of “What If It Worked Out”, stop self-sabotaging, and similar, and start opening up and being receptive to the good stuff I’m trying to court and call into my life.
The grief and 20/20 hind-sight of the Five Of Cups – y’know, that stuff that’s been eating at me since 2016, if not earlier – is apparently far enough gone that I can just get on with things without drowning in it. (That’s not to say I don’t still Have The Feels about all that, but, well, see Prompt Three, tbh. You make Good Art by taking something, doing something to it, and then doing something different to it; and that’s also how you write a new future from a crappy history, so).
 
My over-arching/underlying pair are good mix of “open your heart” (Page of Cups) and “you have the inspiration/creativity/power” (King of Wands) that I think relates pretty clearly to the Empress and Queen of Cups in the initial spread. My advisor says “Focus on being your truest, best self. Don’t get distracted by zero-sum games, insecurities, or petty jealousies”.
 
The only card that’s really throwing me is the Ace of Cups. The card is meant to answer the question of HOW do I gain more confidence in this area, not WHERE do I need to gain more confidence.
What I said to my friend, after a bit of a chat about it all, was that if I were doing this spread for someone else, I’d read the Ace of Cups in that position as… As like when your therapist asks you “What nice thing are you going to do for yourself tonight” so that you develop a habit of making kind plans for yourself and then following through on them and, from that habit, build a relationship with yourself where you can trust yourself to be there for you. I think the card I drew for “what is this about” leans towards “Let yourself play, give yourself time for small pleasures and simple joys, continue learning how to recognize and accept good things when they’re offered to you rather than assuming there’s an ulterior motive or that everything will surely go to hell. Let yourself dream and desire beyond what you can currently grasp”.
 
So there we are. Little rituals in the every-day. Little offerings from myself to myself. Little glamours to lift me up and move me towards what I want.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Totally a sales link.
 
[2] Which, that right there? I have a terrible tendency to get hungry, get hangry, and take it out on myself by basically telling myself that food is for people who deserve it. Which, intellectually, I know is garbage and unkind and generally a bad road to go down, but it’s still a thing I do. Having someone else to cook for/with helps a LOT, in terms of getting me to put food in my own mouth. But remembering to put it in my own mouth, whether anybody else is there to share it with me, is an important thing to keep doing.

New Year New You 2018: Week 3 – Something You’ve Been Putting Off (Imbolg)

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:Let’s face it, Charmers, 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: I was strongly tempted to go with The World for this one, because of it’s association with Being Involved (I literally looked up “what is the opposite of The Hermit” for this), but it has more to do with the end-result of achieved goals than the work that goes into getting there. Given what my goals actually are, I think a better bet would be the Three of Cups or the Four of Wands.
 

On the left is the 3 of Water from my Osho Zen deck. On the right is the 4 of Bows from my Wildwood deck. Both cards are named "Celebration" and both images involves women dancing joyfully with each other alongside a powerful representation of the element in question (A thunderstorm for Water, a bonfire for Bows).

On the left is the 3 of Water from my Osho Zen deck. On the right is the 4 of Bows from my Wildwood deck. Both cards are named “Celebration” and both images involves women dancing joyfully with each other alongside a powerful representation of the element in question (A thunderstorm for Water, a bonfire for Bows).


 
Now, full disclosure, the three of cups is typically my Polyamoury card.
In the case of the Wildwood deck, where the three of vessels – a bunch of gawky birds with large, heavy chalices, that doesn’t even seem to relate much to the rest of its own suit – just leaves me cold? I was both delighted and super relieved to discover that the four of bows not only shares its name, but also its general imagery, with the familiar Three of Water from my Osho Zen deck.
Which is all well and good, BUT my Goals for this project are only partially/tangentially about finding additional people to date. So I’ve chose these two cards more for their social (Three of Cups) and interactive (Four of Wands) aspects, even though their respective “building good relationships in the styles you actually want” aspects are also relevant.
 
I’ve talked before about not being massively comfortable with “putting myself out there” and, while I am getting way better at things like cold-calling (well, cold-emailing) potential modeling clients and have been stepping back into the arena in terms of letting other people (friends, strangers at open mics, magazine editors) read/hear my poetry – and, in fact, just got the good news that one of the poems I submitted during January is going to be published. Go me! (I hope this becomes a trend! :-D) – the thought of being “on the make” in any concrete way is just… not comfortable. For a slew of reasons. Everything from “I am embarrassed at the though of looking ‘desperate'” to “I can’t control every aspect of this and am at risk of making a huge, heart-crushing mistake, as has happened in the past”.
 
Ugh.
 
Speaking of The Past: I’ve been dreaming, recently, of various inappropriate crushes and exes-I-should-be-over-by-now. Not sex dreams, thank fuck, but dreams. See Also weird feelings about Those People that are equal parts simmering but intense emotions and just… massive indifference. Like, it would be really nice if I could figure out how (hahaha) to let go of the low-level-but-pretty-constant feelings of longing, without ending up in a weird, chilly desert of “I guess I’d call So-And-So an acquaintance? We were never really that close”. Y’know?
 
Which is a round-about-way of saying that, by that particular token, and for various “Reasons” beyond it, AND in-so-far as you can “let something go” on command… I’ve been putting off Getting Over various people because, on some level, it feels very all-or-nothing to me, and I would rather not opt for “nothing” when I do want to be friends with these folks.
I don’t know what to do about it. I wrote the other day about how change takes time and magic has to build up in layers, and that trying to draw a map of where I want to go, when I don’t have much in the way of landmarks to even visualize, is difficult. And it is. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I hang onto what didn’t work because at least I can recognize the good bits in among the bad fits and lousy experiences, whereas looking forward is like trying to steer through fog. I can’t see where anything is going.
 
None the less, my list of actions for how to achieve my Empress Goals includes “teaching myself to stop chasing” the people who don’t step up and ask me for my company, and giving myself opportunities to meet new people who might do that asking.
It’s Imbolg. A good time for fresh starts, trying new things, and general quickening. Not a bad time to be doing this. To that end: In addition to things like “finally shaving my legs” and “anointing my sternum with Let The Right One(s) In ritual oil” (physical and magical glamour stuff, basically), I’m picking out Events that I can (make myself) go to in the near future that involve people I’ll probably like talking to (Mender Night at the Ottawa Tool Library was one such place) but that I haven’t been to before.
 
Wish me luck.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2018: Week One – Making Way

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.”
 
Tarot Card: Two of Swords.
 
202c4-osho2clouds
 
Why am I choosing the two of swords?
Well… Firstly, it was the card I drew at midnight on New Year’s, so it’s kind of sitting with me right now as a Thing To Think About, and secondly because the “two” cards are all cards of “just starting out”. The Aces in tarot are “high” – if we want to mix this with, like, poker metaphors – less like “let’s start at the very beginning” and more like the distillation of a given suits essence. Two is where the journey begins, when you’ve taken your one foot and put it in front of the other for that first completed step. So a “two” seems fitting here, as this is both “promt #1” and the second week of my current project.
Beyond both of those things though, I chose the Two of Swords because one of its messages is “Get out of your own way!”
 
Because, yeah, I get in my own way a LOT. I dither. I second-guess. I straight-up self-sabotage. I run through endless lists of why Trying The Thing is a bad idea that will put me in danger and not result in any pay-off. I’m looking for work right now, and a friend of mine suggested I start a Patreon (or similar) to help fund my poetry projects. The very idea terrifies me. Being vulnerable. Asking for help. O.O
So, naturally, I’m looking for part-time admin work instead.
 
This project isn’t about Receptivity, the way my Queen of Cups project was. But it is about connections and security just as much as it’s about pleasure, creativity, and desire. So it might be something I set up as an experiment, to see what, if anything happens. (<– This is me, telling myself there's not stakes here, no risks, so that I'll actually do it. Maybe. Maybe).
 
As for the questions in the writing prompt:
 
Where would I like to be putting my time? Modeling, writing, dancing, reading, cooking, entertaining with friends, going on dates with my wife and (fingers crossed) other cute queers.
 
Where am I putting my time? Modeling (less than I want to be), writing (slightly less than I want to be), cooking, looking for work, social media, fretting about money, some socializing and dancing, but not as much as I'd like.
 
How can I change this: Well. I can find other work, which would help with the fretting about money, and mean I could stop looking. I’ve contacted my temp agency and my modeling regulars and am sending out resumes, so there’s that. I can spend less time on social media and more time doing cheap/free things with my wife and inviting friends over for pot-lucks and cooking-dates. I can make myself go out dancing (a great thing to plan in January, I realize, but it could happen). I can watch for signs that people might be interested if I flirted with them, and then (if I like them) actually flirt with them and see if they’re responsive. Which might lead to me asking someone out on a date.
All possible. Some achievable entirely under my own power. Some is chance. But that’s why we do magic, right? To push the odds every-so-slightly more towards our own favour. So I guess I have a laundry list of what I need to do with this project.
 
Literal, physical cleaning of the house: At this point, I’ve mostly gotten rid of the stuff I don’t use – though there is a clothing/yarn/fabric swap coming up at the end of the month that I might be able to find a few things for. My house-cleaning is more about managing clutter and keeping on top of the vacuuming and the dishes. I’ve got a rack full of clean dishes, but another rack worth still to do. A lot of things to put back on shelves, clean laundry to put away. If my Saturday (today) tasks have included returning a library book, washing the pots & pans, and finish up the lard-rendering, then my Sunday tasks can be putting away the clean laundry and putting books back on shelves.
 
On a less physical level: Normally I would walk around the house burning incense, but it gives my wife a headache do… It’s been a while, but I think I can still remember how to magic-suds a place with The Elements, so I think that might be what I try.
 
As for emotional baggage… There is so much of it. This project, and the last one, are about letting go of that stuff. But here I am, and so much of it is the same stuff that was weighing me down six years ago. Aegirine stone is a good one for letting go of shame, for getting its hooks out of you, but I don’t have any of that, so I’ll have to make due with what I’ve got.
 
Labradorite – for the courage and power to own one’s gifts
Malachite – for help with making changes and with inviting pleasure and success into one’s life
Moonstone – for fulfilling desires and granting wishes (how very Nine of Cups)
Rose Quartz – for self-love and forgiveness
Charoite – for healing emotional fears
Bloodstone – for (re)aligning ones lower chakras with one’s heart
Carnelian – for waking up one’s root and sacra chakras
Black Onyx – for cleansing negative energetic gunk from one’s system
 
What I’ve been doing: Wearing my black onyx pendant and my cheroite ring in the hopes of pulling some of this nasty stuff right out of me and making room for better stuff (stuff I can call in with the labradorite and rose quartz I wear every day, with moonstone jewelry, with the malachite and bloodstone I have in my treasure box).
 
This post feels like it’s been one long sigh. But wish me luck anyway?

New Year, New You 2018: Week Four (technically – in place of week one) – Be Kind To Yourself

Here we go again, kids.
 
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 particular prompt was originally written for Week Four BUT it comes with the caveate of “do it whenever you hit the first week of January”(or some other culturally significant New Beginnings and Goal Setting date, but mostly early January) regardless of where you are in the exercises. I’m just starting this off, and I feel a bit silly starting it on the prompt that says “Maybe just don’t?” but here we are. This week, the plan is to “give yourself permission to enjoy the fruits of your labor and to give yourself something nice“.
 
Tarot Card: Nine of Cups. I chose this specific iteration of the Queen of Cups partially because it’s from my latest deck – the Next World tarot – which I’m rather excited about, but also because the artist’s write-up in her Little Book says specifically that the Nine of Cups “reminds us to stay glamourous”. (I’m snickering a little because, the last time I did/wrote-up this particular prompt, I was Having The Feels about bad patterns and bad habits and wanting to have a Nine Of Water week and… not really succeeding).
 
I’m having an easier time saying “Nope. Nine of Bottles. This is the Time, this is the Hour” this time around but also am having feelings about bad habits and patterns that I’m spinning in.
I mean, maybe I’m spinning in those particularly well-worn tracks all the time anyway, BUT it’s been hitting me a little harden in the past 48 hours, so there’s that.
 
Anyway. On the subject of Stay Glamourous… You know that I’m doing the Esoteric Experiments in Miss Sugar’s book, Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want (yes that link will get me tiny amounts of cash if you buy her book through it). So, partly I chose this card as a reminder not to let myself down on that front, even on Laundry Day. But this card is also about “the magic of self care” and how the sensory (touch, sight, smell) side of my femme-nicity matters a LOT to me feeling good in and about myself. It’s a reminder to be kind to myself by remembering that I’m worthy of pleasure, sensuality, “easy days and pretty things” (to draw on Kathryn Payne’s essay about Lineage in Brazen Femme) and that beating myself up about, or punishing myself through deprivation over, Bad Habits and Patterns isn’t actually going to help me stop perpetuating those things.
 
So.
Two Nice Things for me this week:
1) I upgraded the internet. With a discount, no less. This isn’t actually going to change until Monday, BUT it will mean that my lovely wife and I can watch movies-on-the-internet (and chill, or maybe even “chill”, wouldn’t that be lovely), and also I will worry less about “running out of megabytes” when it comes to uploading stuff as per this particular version of the Nine of Cups. It’s a practical thing, and it doesn’t only benefit ME, and I did it mostly because the internet-provider just happened to call and offer it to me today (which is why I’m aiming to do two things, rather than one), but I did it. I am allowed to have nice things and do not need to exist in austerity all the time.
AND
2) I haven’t entirely decided this one, but chances are good it will involve an afternoon – or maybe even a whole day – spent curled up with either a beloved old book (OR a fascinating new one) and a box of chocolates I got on post-new-years clearance. There will be lounging. I am allowed to do things that are pleasurable purely for the sake of pleasure and do not have to Be Productive all the time.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad.

Full Moon – Snow Moon Crests (Mother’s Night, New Year’s Day, Super Moon)

Full Moon. In Cancer, which is the Moon’s territory. On Monday/Lundi, which is the Moon’s day. My shiny new date-books theme is The Moon (the tarot card, but also the giant ball of rock in the sky and all that she stands for. The date book being what it is, there’s a fair bit of Womb Stuff, too, which is… not as delightful for me now as it was 10-12 years ago, but that’s what it is).
 
I’m enjoying this post over at Little Red Tarot which includes a handy tarot spread that touches on the Moon (what are the gifts of this cycle, this full moon), the Queen of Cups (what does my heart need) and the Queen of Pentacles (what is the work involved in achieving/realizing my desires).
This isn’t a spread I’ve done today. Though it makes me smile because it kind of relates to the one I did do. (More on that in a second).
 
Liz Worth says of this full moon:

The Moon is water. It is an ocean, a heart that waits to swallow you whole.
What will you find when you swim to the bottom? Deep, nourishing love? Or tears? The sweat of pining, of longing for something that was once held dear?
These are deep thoughts for the first day of the year, I know. But this is the space that today’s Moon wants us to occupy.
It wants us to go deep. To get nostalgic. To take stock of what’s been lost and gained, and what hope we still hold for the future.

 
Which… I suppose is kind of happening.
 
A little over two years ago, I started my Queen of Cups project, with the Full moon swimming in Cancer’s ocean of emotions. I finished it all of four months ago, just days before September’s full moon in the healer’s territory of Pisces. Now the moon is full in Cancer again, and I’m looking at bridging my Queen of Cups project – a story about healing into receptivity that turned out to be about having healthy, consciously-fluid boundaries – into a new self-improvement/self-healing project that centers on the sex-and-sensuality, certainty, abundance, interconnectedness, and unapologetic embodiment of the Empress.
 
I did the Bridge Spread from Little Red Tarot, asking how I could bridge my Queen of Cups Project into my in-coming Empress Project and… what I got was actually really frustrating.
Like… You know how tarot is basically story-telling?
You know how everyone has meta-narratives and stories they can’t let go of?
You know how (well, maybe you don’t, but some of you do) I started my Queen of Cups project less than a month before a rather-messed-up relationship came to a very painful end, and that… mess… still feels like unfinished business to me, in significant part because it’s left me suspicious of my desires and uncertain around stuff like the difference between “wanting” to do something and “being willing” to do something. (There will be more on this later – either here, or on a different blog)…
… So it’s not surprising, but it IS extremely irritating, that the story I got from my bridge spread so easily fit the story of “My messed up experience with C and how I’m still dealing with the personal fall-out there-from”.
 
I want to tell a different story.
 
I’m not going to do a full write-up of the spread I laid. Not here, anyway.
Instead, you’re getting the Advisor and the Overarching + Underlying Influences from that reading – the three cards I add to every spread that tend to offer a summary of what I’m supposed to get from it:
 

 
Advisor – Five of Wands (U):
The 5 of wands is about sticking to your convictions while picking your battles, dealing with (or living with) unresolved tensions, and resolving – or at least navigating – internal conflicts.
The Little Book that Cristy C Road wrote to go with her just-released Next World tarot deck (which is the deck I used for the initial spread, even though I also pulled the matching cards from the Silicon Dawn deck) has this to say about the Five of Wands:
It’s possible to do this healing work, and it IS work, in ways that are safe even as they’re a struggle. “What does collaboration look like? Are you co-conspirators able to meet you half-way?”
This is a card about challenging expectations. Maybe other people’s, sure, but in this reading? Definitely my own. (Weirdly, this resonates with the card I pulled at Midnight when the calendar turned over. The two of swords: Acknowledge why you’re guarded, but don’t let that stop you from making decisions and taking action).
 

 
Overarching + Underlying – Eight of Cups (U) + Queen of Pentacles (U)
Stuff about security and leaving the past in the past. Well, that’s… probably relevant.
 
Overarching: In the Osho Zen deck, this card is Letting Go. In the Wildwood deck, it’s Rebirth. The Silicon Dawn deck, as you can see in the picture above, interprets it as a “morning after” promise not to do that again. The folks at Little Red Tarot say, of the eight of cups, “There is great strength in walking away from something that just isn’t working any more. There is great strength in acknowledging the truth and, no matter how hard that truth is, acting from there.” Given that The Tower has shown up for me twice in less than 24 hours… I’m sort of resigned to this one, and hoping it’s something that won’t hurt too much to walk away from.
In the Next World, Cristy C Road calls us to “stay solid and true” (don’t ghost on anybody) but to “follow the path of rebirth with grace and dignity” and not to let your past govern your future.
+
Underlying: Flowering. Coming into your own. The protective bear in her cozy cave. The Queen of Earth is a “come on in, the door’s unlocked” kind of Queen. She’s solid and steady, secure in her resources, her supporters, and her resilience. She’s abile to back up her generous spirit with generous actions. Cristy says: Pursue your power, it’s well-deserved, but don’t lose your compassion.
 
On a related note, the card that fell out of the deck when I was doing this spread? The three of Earth. A reminder that, in whatever endeavor you’re undertaking, (a) you need to acknowledge the work, the labour, the skills, the effort that you bring to the endeavor, while also (b) recognizing that it’s not only on YOU to make The Thing happen or succeed. You are part of a team effort. Value you what you bring to that effort and don’t team up with people who will devalue you or expect you to do everything for them.
 
Anyway.
 
On that note, and with the spectre of The Tower sculking in my future, waiting to tear down whatever needs to go… I’m off to get ready for a casual New Year’s get-together where, hopefully, I be able to give a few readings that are less “resignation and gloom” and more “you got this” to other people.
 
Cheers, and onwards,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Not a whole hell of a lot, tbh. It’s been -30 and worse for the past week, and I’ve mostly been holed up avoiding the cold, and grateful for the car rides I’ve been offered to various seasonal events. I even skipped Going Out Dancing last night in favour of board games and good lighting for NYE. Twenty minute walk in the freezing bloody cold coming up shortly though.
 
Attention: I admit to being thoroughly distracted, and prone to showing off, my shiny new Next World deck that arrived last week. 😀 The cards are HUGE (but I have big hands, so I can make it work), and the art is detailed and worthy of the large format. I like the deliberate social justice flavour and the write-ups that are designed with personal and societal healing in mind. Hers is the first Queen of Swords that didn’t rub me the wrong way, but instead looked like someone who might actually be on my side (even if she’s still prone to tough love).
 
Gratitude: Grateful for central heating. For friends who are hella generous with me. For a wife who loves me enough to say Very Clearly that when she asks me stuff, it’s because she actually interested in the answers (as opposed to because she’s monitoring my productivity, or something, which is what my Jerk Brain would suggest). For a mom who is getting the hang of my polyamoury. For being able to make things from scratch (even if I haven’t been doing so at ALL this week). For kindness. For welcome. For the optimism that seems to be hanging around right now. For tenacity. For the possibility that I might actually be able to finish my poetry manuscript this year AND start sending it out (it’s early, and I’m not more than half-done, but it kind of looks like it might be possible, so I’m going with it). For all the good people and things in my life. And for the friends who remind me that it’s okay to want even more.
 
Inspiration: Realizing that the “resolutions egregore” is probably not the best thing from-which to draw inspiration, I’m still doing so. I have at least one friend whose debut book is coming out this year. My wife is feeling happier, and like things have turned a corner for the better when it comes to her business. There’s a lot of optimism floating around my corner of the internet right now, and a lot of people making goals around being kind, pushing towards vulnerability, empathy, inclusion and mutuality. Things feel good right now, and I’m hoping I can grab that feeling and stretch it into something real and lasting. Wish me luck. 😉
 
Creation: Not so much. I’ve done a little bit of knitting, but otherwise? I haven’t really even cooked anything. I’m on vacation until tomorrow, at which point I’ll get back to work on the Femme Glosa Project, on editing poetry submissions, and on cooking actual meals. But today? Today, I’m still being lazy. With that? I’m off to be social. TTFN! 😀