Tag Archives: Week 11

New Year New You 2018 – Week Eleven: Casting Out Doubt

I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
 
Instructions:We need to free ourselves from this horribly insidious, inner voice that wants us to never try, to never dare, to never dream, and to never step outside our little boxes. […] It doesn’t want you to change because change is hard and scary.
 

Dark Days Tarot - The Moon - Three swimmers dive over a dark lunar face, above a treeline and flying birds.

Dark Days Tarot – The Moon – Three swimmers dive over a dark lunar face, above a treeline and flying birds.


 
Tarot Card: The Moon
I picked The Moon because it has to do with “believing illusions”.
At this point, the old refrain of my Jerk Brain is… boring, honestly. It’s still very effective, but I know the words and the tune by heart, and it’s getting easier and easier to recognize it when it starts playing on my internal radio again.
I wrote a poem, more than a year ago now, for the New Moon in Scorpio. It was about how the deep, dark secrets we keep from ourselves – the ones we’re supposed to go deep-diving into the fathomless muck in the bottoms of our unconscious to find and drag into the light – aren’t about how we’re actually Very Bad People. Sometimes the secrets we keep from ourselves are that we’re lovable, worthy, and good.
My Jerk Brain, my “Horrible Voice”, keeps suggesting ways for everything to go horribly wrong. “Your marriage is going to fall apart because you have a new partner!”, “Your new relationship is going to fall apart because it’s long distance and you’re probably just making it up anyway!”, “Your making-ends-actually-meet job is going to disappear in forty more hours and you’ll be right back to scraping by just like the last [too many] years!”
And, okay, with the possible exception of that last one? I know that my Horrible Voice is lying. My marriage isn’t falling apart. My girlfriend is nuts about me. My wife and my girlfriend like each other. My metamours seem pretty great so far. Everything is going to be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.
 
But riding herd on my Jerk Brain when it has so many weak/tender spots it can poke? Not easy. It’s like… I plug one hole, and the water starts rushing in somewhere else.
 
How I generally cast out doubt is by having magical baths and showers. Partly because they warm me up and relax me, since a lot of my Jerk Brain is basically just anxiety, sometimes exacerbated by being too cold. (Although I admit that I bought myself heavily-discounted “unicorn magic” scented candles – they basically smell like fruity, vanilla-sugar – for days when I want to remind myself that, “Why yes, I am in fact a Magical Marianas Trench Unicorn and my angsty mental state can just fuck off”).
This time, though, I’m also trying stuff like “mindfulness”. In the sense of “Okay, but is this actually reasonable? Or are you blowing things way out of proportion, outright making stuff up, or being kind of ridiculous here” in situations where the only person likely to be gaslighting me is myself.
That last one is, uh. It’s tiring – because I’m literally having these chats with myself every 3-5 minutes, some days. But it’s also being remarkably effective, so I think I’m going to keep it up.
 
Beyond those two things – the magical self-care and the mindfulness self-talk – I’m putting myself back on the “do a physical activity (briefly) every day” track – and sometimes more than once a day, if I catch myself getting stuck in the flight/fight/freeze part of the “stress cycle” and need to literally shake (shaaaaaaaaaaaake) it off. Because getting out in the fresh air and/or moving my body to some upbeat music really does seem to help my brain. I’ve also (just barely) started a second “gratitude practice”, over on Syrens, specifically to help with shame resilience around body pleasure and sexual connections, so that I can try to get out of my own way on that front.
Wish me luck on that one.

New Year New You 2016: Week Eleven – Casting Out Doubt

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: “[…]Use a method of your own choosing to banish the negative energy” or otherwise communicate with your own Jerk Brain to get it to give you a break.
 
Tarot Card(s): Page of Water, Queen of Earth (and, yes, my Mary-El deck arrived a few weeks ago, thense the links to images from that deck for this post). Neither of these cards explicitely have to do with Casting Out Doubt. But they’re relevant for a couple of reasons, one being that I did a two-card pull that relates to my Queen of Cups Project (and various points there-within such as my life-coaching sessions and the Plan that is to Get My Groove Back, so to speak) and I didn’t even pull these two cards, they just popped right out of the deck, like: Here’s your answer, kiddo. (This deck is proving very accurate on the jumpers front, so far, I’m just saying…).
Anyway, so there’s that. I’ll get into that a little more later, mind you. The other reason why these are relevant to the “casting out doubt” prompt is that the first one – being a Page card – is about approaching things (feeeeelings) with curiosity, rather than fear, while the second one is very much about being rooted and steady (rather than riddled with anxiety). the combination is basically a case of “Here’s something you can do instead of assuming the worst and spinning about it all the time”.
Useful? I think so.
 
ANYWAY.
 
So, as-you-know-bob, I am a BIG fan of ritual/magical baths as a form of spell-casting and Creating Change At Will. unsurprisingly, my method of casting out doubt involved (a) having a giant, scrubby shower (and, yeah, some Stuff came up during the shower, and I was just, like, “Don’t be mean to yourself. Let all that stuff just sluff off and let it go”. Which… we’ll see if that bit sticks, honestly, but I gave it a go), and (b) taking a sensual-glamourous bath after the fact to soak in (and soak up) something better to fill that vacuum left when I got rid of all the EUGH[1].
So.
The other day, I went out and gathered a whole wack of “second chakra associated” flowers and leaves. I picked bergamot petals, geranium blossoms, rose petals, rose leaves, and motherwort[2] tops (mostly leaves). All sorts of pinks and reds. I wound up explaining to a newly-arrived-home couple just what, exactly, they had growing under their tree (Motherwort – see footnote[2]). They’d asked if they had “something special”, since I was obviously investigating the weedy patch they’d (woohoo) missed with the mower.
 
I wound up waiting a solid 48 hours or more before I actually took my bath, though.
I kind of think that’s telling, seeing as the whole idea was to open up my centre of drive, passion, confidence, and sex… and I was consistently putting it on the back-burner while I got other stuff done. :-\
Hm.
 
But I took my bath: all the petals plus dried bay leaves, sea salt & epsom salts (to draw out any residual gunk), and essential oils of rosemary, clary sage, ylang ylang, and sweet orange.
Soaked and floated in the hot water. Did Child’s Pose to open my hips, and breathed in the smell of all those oils and flower petals.
 
Got interrupted towards the end, a young woman (possibly from Korea, going by the alphabet her phone was using) who’d taken a wrong turn trying to find her airBnB. This is most likely Just A Fluke, but I’m choosing to read it as any of the following:
Sometimes people turn up in your life when you’re not expecting them and/or when it’s not entirely convenient. Just go with it.
Things are not always going to go according to your internal scrips. See above and just go with it.
See also: Have a sense of humour about it, for fuck’s sake.
 
I can still smell rosemary on my skin.
I hope this is one more thing that will help me open myself up without seeing every damn thing as a threat. Which… I guess I can use as a handy segue?
 
About that tarot reading!
It was a “who” and a “how” card to answer the question: “Who and how do I need to be in order to open myself up the way I want and need to?”
The page of water and the queen of earth, respectively, fell out of the deck almost as soon as I started shuffling.
So that’s apt.
WHO: The Page of Cups says “be in the moment”. It says “learn to trust” and “trust the learning”. The Page of Cups is very much me on a lot of levels, just figuring this heart stuff out (after nine years of working my ass off for it, still just figuring stuff out) but also being neck-deep in it all the time. It’s very much what my Life Coach is trying to help me do, with regards to approaching pleasure and relationships with curiosity rather than trepidation. It says be loyal, be devoted, be compassionate and supportive of yourself as well as others. Be emotionally vulnerable.
BUT
HOW: The Queen of Earth says “don’t fling yourself off a cliff to do it”. Offer that loyalty, devotion, compassion wisely. Make sure you have an oxygen mask of your own, rather than hoping someone else will pass you one in the event of an emergency. Explore, see where things go, walk into this stuff with joy and hope. For sure. But also make sure that you can stand solid on your own. Be aware of what you value, what you want and what you need, as you go out exploring. You can be emotionally vulnerable, you can let your heart be curious, because you can pull back and prioritize yourself when you need to. (Which is also part of the Life Coaching stuff, as it turns out).
 
The Queen of Earth, in the Mary-El deck, is weaping diamonds. It makes me think of this post I wrote just before C ended our relationship. In this context, I read it as “there is value is showing your emotions” and also “experiencing your bodiliness, letting your feelings come through your body, isn’t weak. Quite the opposite”. There are a million ways to interpret a given tarot card but this seems like a relevant way to read this one today.
 
So. That was how I went about Casting Out Doubt. It’s been helping. Every time I pass a rose bush (which are still quite fragrant in these parts, even as the flowers are fading), I catch the scent and breathe in love and gratitude. It’s a nice reminder and it helps me stop spinning my self-doubt wheels.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] That’s a thing to keep in mind. If you banish something, it can be a good idea to fill the void the banishment leaves with something you actually WANT (either by putting it there, or by ritually inviting it to take up residence), so that you don’t end up with either (a) the same damn shit again, OR (b) just any old thing that happened to be in the area filling in the available psychic/physical/emotional space. A bit like my tarot-pull being all “Here’s what to do INSTEAD of the disfunctional thing you’ve always done”.
 
[2] Motherwort calms the heart (it makes a good anti-anxiety tincture, similar to skullcap in that regard, but much muuuuuuch easier to get ahold of in urban areas as it grows quite happily in disturbed ground like construction sites), builds self-trust and confidence, bolsters libido, and attracts joy, success, & a sense of purpose. It encourages listening/discerning one’s heart’s desires and has associations with Venus, Freja, and Ogun (er… apparently). It can come and live in my garden any time.

Common Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca)