I’m (once again, still) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
Instructions: “The point of this prompt is more about being open to an experience and relaxing your mind and seeing what kind of revelations you come to.”
Tarot Card: This is a toss-up between Home and New Vision, but in the end I went with the former, for reasons that will become apparently shortly.
It’s well-known that I’m a home-body. I call myself a kitchen witch for a reason, and I’m enough of an introvert that, after nearly two years of extremely limited socializing, I’m… fine, actually. Most of my Places of Ritual Significance – with the exception of a night club that I haven’t been to in decades but of-which I hold a lot of fond memories, a kink party that doesn’t happen anymore, and a few spots in DC – are literally inside my house. The slow, wonder-inducing walks that I take through local nature preserves are… mostly within 10 minutes walk of my front door. The river is down the street. Holy ground is right here, under my feet.
This absolutely fits with How I Do, and I kind of want for literally everyone to have that experience of deep magic and aliveness in the microbioregions that are their respective neighbourhoods. But it means that any situation where I’m magically Making Changes in my life (which: I am also a creature of habit who is scared of change, so) includes the stumbling point of “I also have to Do Something New” on purpose in order to show that I’m for-real game for those changes to happen.
I’ve been reading Lyandra Lynn Haupt’s Rooted – which I do recommend if you want to read some easy-to-follow ecophilosophy, it’s lovely – and what I read last Saturday morning, while drinking my reheated coffee, exhorted her readers to wander in a way that didn’t follow their usual routes around areas that they know.
So, between that and the snow and my stiff neck, I decided that I should get myself out for a walk.
I opted to head north-east to the little woodland nearby that – barring the couple of residential streets that cut through it – runs roughly between a small creek and a big park with a baseball diamond, across 3-4 city blocks.
The snow came down heavier. I saw what I thought were three crows, but which were actually two crows and a raven (which explained why the crows were so shouty about the whole thing). I admit, I made a “clock-clock-clock” approximation of a raven sound, at which point the crows headed further back towards the river and let the raven get on with their life.
I kept going north-northeast, rather than turning onto more familiar trails that would have led me down to the creek, watching my footing on the snow-slick, frost-hard, uneven ground, and noticing the beech trees (one of the few I can reliably pick out on bark alone). The little wood is full of foot bridges – which tells me how wet this place must be during melt season – and I crossed a bunch of them. Eventually I popped out on the other side of the wood (ha – and, as I type this, Madonna sings out “I made it through the wilderness” on my playlist…), still in familiar territory, just a part I’m not in that often. I headed home by a different road, and heard a familiar pip-pip. I looked around, and spotted the petal-red flash of feathers, a cardinal – probably in his first Winter – learning to fly, and navigate, through falling snow. Not a struggle, exactly, though it didn’t look easy. Definitely a learning process.
The red of his feathers made me think of the red of willow roots – red as paint – in the water of the nearby creek, all of a season ago.
I cam home, made hot chocolate, and pulled tarot cards for the New Moon.
This is one of the reasons I opted for “Home” as my card for this prompt. Because the Ten of Disks fell out of my deck when I asked “Okay, then what?” after initially pulling The Tower. This is one of my “Everything will be okay” cards. Like Angler Fish June Cleaver, or my gods and ancestors, were just like “Relax. We know that your anxious as heck about this big change you’re about to make minus the safety net you initially thought you might get. But you’re not going to starve. You’re not going to lose your house. There’s going to be some struggle, but you’ll get the hang of your new normal, the way you always do, and everything will be okay.”
It made me think of the raven as a reminder of “You have back-up”. It reminded me of the cardinal, red as flame amid all that white, getting the hang of a reality that’s new, but for-which he wasn’t unequipped.
I admit, I want to skip the struggle. (Don’t we all). I want to skip the bit where things fall apart. At the same time, I think “things fall apart”, in this scenario, is the bit I’m in right now. The concluding that it’s time to leave. The awkward (hopefully not that awkward) part between handing in my notice and actually being done. The part where I try to tie up all the loose ends and, hopefully, don’t have to train my replacement before I go.
It’s possible that the Ten of Earth, the “what happens after” card, is literally “and then you’ll be home” – working from home, entirely – but I hope it means that everything will be okay, too.