Tag Archives: Week 5

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 2016: Week Five – Some Enchanted Evening

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: Do some magical thing(s) to further your cause and give you an edge towards achieving your Goal(s).
 
Tarot Card: The Priestess (Inner Voice, The Seer) – looking inward, going deeper, mediating between the concious and unconcious, self-confidence, seaking internal calm.
 
Thoughts:
Okay.
So I’ve had a bit of a shock thrown into my (life) plans recently. My long-distance partner is… not my partner anymore. At least not for the moment. We’re “on a break” for reasons that I understand, even if I’m not happy about the situation or its effects on me.
Part of me is all “I totally get it, take the time you need.”
Part of me is all “Augh! Come baaaaaaaaaaaaack!”
And part of me is just all “Eugh. Whatever. You do you. I’ll survive.”
It’s not a fun place to be, and it does add a certain bleak nuance of “Why am I trying so hard to Fix The Problems that I’m trying to fix with this project if I’m no-longer in a situation where those Problems are actually causing Big Waves in important parts of my life??”
Which is a problem in and of itself, I know.
Why don’t I care about myself enough to just get to Happy for my own benefit, rather than it having to involve someone else’s comfort with me before I’m willing to Do The Work that will make my life better regardless?
It’s stupid and frustrating and it means that part of this Getting To project is getting a bit of a facelift.
 
Originally, I was going to do my Enchanted Evening spell by putting a glamour wammy on my bathroom and dressing-room mirrors so that, every time I looked at my own reflection, I was also seeing someone worthy of love and care, in the hopes that it would make it easier for me to pick up on the love and care (and other good stuff) being directed at me from all and sundry[1].
I’m still going to do that.
BUT.
… But the whole situation with the Queen Of Cups is that she doesn’t have to use logic to walk her heart through every damn thing. She’s emotionally healthy,and emotionally secure, enough that she is both trust-worthy and trustING in ways that don’t feel like jumping off a cliff (to use Leah Lakshmi’s very apt turn of phrase) and crossing my fingers that someone is going to catch me before I hit the rocks.
Which means I’ve got other Stuff I need to work on as well.
 
So what I did this morning was steap myself a cup of thyme tea and charge it with the prayer of “Open my heart, help me to trust the trustworthy, heal me”.
Tea because: Probably a safer bet than putting drops of pure thyme essential oil directly onto my tongue. But also tea because it has links to awareness, faithfulness, and enlightenment.
I chose Thyme because it corresponds to courage, hope, happiness, purification, healing, strength, the washing away of fear.
Other herbs I can use in similar ways:
Chamomile, lavender, and dill to calm the frightened child in me
Sweet Violet (I’m reading this as the edible flowers of wood violets that grow in my yard – and all over the place) for trust, peace, and strengthening the comfort of the heart
 
As for the glamour wammy on my mirror, I’m thinking it’ll be a cleansing spray that just happens to include a mix of rosemary, sweet orange, and ginger essential oils (plus witch hazel & water for a carrier).
 
Other possibilities for scrubbing away:
A Body Scrub to sluff away all the Negativity that’s been hovering around me ft brown sugar, sweet almond oil, baking soda, rosemary, clove, cedar, tea tree
AND
A Bath Powder to draw confidence, self-assurance, courage and calm ft ylang ylang, ginger, clove, myrrh(!), and sweet orange
 
I find it… veeeeeery interesting… that a LOT of the essential oils that one would use for drawing love, sex, & happy-solid romances into one’s life (and dispelling/preventing jealousy, no less) are also stuff that one would use to increase confidence, courage & self-assurance, while calming your ass down & dispelling fear and depression.
I mean, part of that is just: people use what they’ve got. If you’re a Strega with a rosemary bush the size of your house (or… me… with a cupboard full of pie spices and dried fruit), that stuff is going to find its way into every spell you do.
On the other hand… the two tend to benefit one-another, in my experience, so maybe it’s not that strange.
 
Lastly – though not remotely surprisingly -I’ve been doing a LOT of tarot readings for myself on the question of “How do I get to Happy?” (the Fool Spread is really handy for that kind of question) and the details of making those internal changes in ways that will actually stick and not turn me into more of a wreck in the process.
They’re turning up some… unsurprising but also pretty accurate information, which is a help in terms of things I need to remind myself of like: This is going to be a bit of a slog, so you will have to be patient with yourself. Be brave but not with without compassion for yourself. Push yourself, because it’s going to be hard and you will have to keep leaning into that discomfort, but don’t burn yourself out. Learn from your mistakes, but also forgive yourself and be gentle with yourself at the same time.
 
Wish me luck.
Up next: Fancying up my mirrors and taking a solid soak. Here’s hoping it works.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] So that I could recognize that kind words from a friend are actually meant and true, to pick a non-Faaaaaaaaaamily-related example, and so that (to pick another, even less-socially-fraught one) I could stop interpreting a lack of calls from temp agents as some sort of deliberate punishment for not being available That One Time, or for saying No to that thing I didn’t want to do. So that I can just sit with the quiet (as opposed to the Silence, as in Silent Treatment) of a non-ringing phone without believing in my bones that it’s a commentary on whether or not I’m worthy of someone having my back or looking out for me.

What Kind of Magic Do I Do, Anyways? [New Year, New You]

Miss Sugar’s new NYNY prompt is kind of hitting home right now. It’s the eve of February. My time-eating temp contract is OVER, and it’s kind of time to Get On With It now.

I’m dashing this post off in the few minutes I (theoretically) have before my girlfriend gets home and our Celebratory Evening begins. I gotta tell you, as days go, this one has been fucking phenomenal. If my gods are sending me “Yes! This is the right direction! Go-Go-Go! Right Now!” signs… they’re coming through loud and clear. 😀

I currently have a LOT of candles lit and have done my thank-yous in a couple of ways (candles and insense plus verbal thank-yous with my boiled water offering). It’s been a spectacular day. Lots of good things have happened – everything from “nice little things” like my Omikuji letter turning up to “Mid-Sized Awesome” like having someone express interest in getting me to perform in their womens’ arts festival (actually, that might be more than mid-sized awesome, to tell you the truth), to “Great Big Deals” like some Personal Stuff going totally smoothly that could have been a huge mess and was stressing us both out. So YAY! 😀 Life is AWESOME! Huzzah! 😀 😀 😀

But that isn’t really talking about Miss Sugar’s prompt.

So. Onwards.

See, lately – specifically in relation to the New Year New You experiment – I’ve been feeling very, like, “Okaaaaaaaay… So, Meliad, when are you going to, y’know, start Wildly Manifesting Your Most Fabulous Self?” in terms of cranking out the magic and getting the hustle on and so on. And maybe I feel that way because my hustle-level has been pretty high all year long (as compared to previous years) – as of tomorrow morning I celebrate one year of Freelance Everything[1] (also awesome, fyi). Or maybe I feel that way because I don’t (yet?) do Big Magic. At least not what I think of as Big Magic.

Okay, so what is “Big Magic” in my mind?

When I think about it for 30 seconds together, I think “big magic” is either heavy-duty shamanic stuff or it’s “bang spells” a la Ceremonial/Chaos(?) Magic and Sorcery.
It involves Otherworld travel and/or Calling In the Big Guns Gods (frequently under very ritualistic circumstances).

Whereas what I do is Small Magic, which involves talking to my People in my kitchen, thowing stuff together in bottles, reading tarot cards half for the heck-of-it, and pushing energy around in what little ways I can in order to (a) get things kind of shunted where I want them or to (b) send Backup when I can’t be somewhere in person. Which is nothing to sneeze at. But, while I’m upping my frequency, I don’t entirely feel like I’m upping my “game” so to speak. Maybe that’s okay and the frequency thing is fine. But that’s where my line of thought’s been ending up these days.

So. Back to the prompt. Miss Sugar asks us to grit our teeth and push through That Thing that we’ve been avoiding. You know what I’ve been avoiding? Just about everything! Basically, I’ve been putting off jewelry-making (in quantity), as well as doing yoga (again), and getting myself back into Singing Form (and all the business cards and wedding-boutique visits that go with it) by saying “I’ll do it in February”. Once my temp job is over and I’ve got the extra four hours per day to do it in.

Well, February’s here. Time to grit my teeth and do it. O.O

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] And, yes, I totally worked a temp job full time for six weeks and part-time for another three months. And I’m damn glad for the money and it helped a LOT in terms of keeping our heads above water, covering Sols/mas, and getting me O-U-T out of my latest bout of credit-card debt. I still think this totally counts as both an aniversary to be celebrated and a big honkin’ milestone. So there.

Actual Magic (New Year, New You)

Playing a little bit of catch-up when it comes to the New Year New You project (as seen in my last post). This week’s prompt is all about getting through the specifically-magical tasks I laid out in my Bite-Sized Goals post.

Now… I’ve already done the Big One on that. For a given value of “big” at any rate. I updated one honey-pot and built myself a second one back on Winter Solstice. So, other than remembering to light the honey-pot candles every week, and maybe upping the glamoury a little bit (tricky to do with a burned face, I have to admit), I’m… sort of “done” on that front.

And yet… I’m not. I was talking earlier about potentially trying to get in touch with Bat and seeing if zi’s got anything to teach/tell/show me what with (a) a bat sort of Getting My Attention yesterday, and (b) the “correspondences” that seem to go along with Bat being ones that relate to both my life-at-present and to the New Year New You project in general.

So maybe that’s what I do in response to this prompt.

The trick, of course, is that I have no idea what I’m doing. The last time I put out a call to the deity-sphere in general I was basically throwing a job-description into the aether and seeing who turned up who fit the bill (or was willing to take it on). That was… a decade ago, easily, I think. Probably slightly more than that. Since that point, I’ve basically been going “Great! I’ve got my pantheon and I’m all good with that. Moving right along…” and haven’t really been putting out feelers or invitations to anyone else. So the possibility of doing so is… kind of intimidating. I… Hah, yes… I’m having a poly moment – as in polytheism. I don’t want to neglect my long-term-relationship deities to go chasing after some NRE with a fling-on-the-side, and I’m a little (a lot) leary of having a fling-on-the-side that turns into “Honeys, we need a bigger house altar…” Y’know?

So… So, not even touching on the “how would I go about doing this” part – that would most likely be a dream-related thing like doing a dream-pillow or something that Invites Communication with Spirit Guides (soooooooooooo newage, I know, but bear with me?) – I’m kind of looking to the eclectic, not just one pantheon type folks, to weigh in on how to make sure your Primary deities are happy and feeling loved when you’re about to ask someone new out on a date.

Thoughts? Help? Y/N?

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.