Tag Archives: Week 6

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 2016: Week Six – Maps (Wait, They Don’t Love You Like I Love You)

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: “[G]o some place that is sacred to you and to use the experience to guide you in your work[…]”
 
Tarot Card: Ten of Cups + Knight of Earth (specifically the one from my Osho Zen deck, called “Slowing Down“, though the Wildwood’s Knight of Stones has some personal relevance as well).
 
Thoughts:
So, it’s been over two months since I did the previous prompt for the NYNY Experiment. Put that down to trying to regain some equilibrium after waiting to see how the cards would fall out.
Ha. On that note: Trying to do tarot readings when you have exactly one thing on your mind? Is simultaneously devastatingly accurate (whether you like it or not), AND massively annoying because you can’t get information on anything else.
Eugh.
 
But I’m back!
 
So. Most of my sacred places are inside my home. They’re my kitchen, my altar, my garden, my couch and my tiny dining table (especially when I’ve got people over who I can feed). But I’ve been feeling weirdly (or maybe not-so-weridly, what with Winter’s Last Hurrah having hit but a few days ago[1]) stuck when inside my home of late, so I was hesitant to try and trance out while chopping beets in the kitchen (for example – though it works quite well with apples, as long as you don’t lop off a finger in the process). All that being said, I did keep my eyes and ears open to see what would pop up and… I got something. I wrote about it a little bit in my most recent lunar post, but the majority of this message came, not from my home-base, but from my extended leather family at Queering Power.
 
The message was: SLOW DOWN!
 
Not “slow down” in the frantic, you-are-about-to-drive-off-a-cliff sense of the word, but “Slow Down” in the sense of:
When you are Triggered (yes, I’m talking about PTSD), everything starts to rush.
When you’re drowning in shame, you run around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to “justify your existence”, when you need no justification, you just need to BE.
When you are in that spiral of “I am Too Much” (too demanding, too slow, too needy, too big, too complicated… you name it), you tell yourself that you must rush through things for the benefit of someone else – don’t tell the whole story, don’t savour that meal, don’t sink into exactly as long as it takes you to get turned on, get into it, get off – instead of being really present, really authentic, really enjoying life’s pleasures.
When you are freaking out and trying to numb yourself, you rush through experiences without really experiencing them – eat a chocolate without even tasting it, skim a poem and feel frustrated by the (unfindable, in this state) meaning you didn’t give yourself time to catch.
When you are frantic, you make decisions that hurt people you care for, and also that hurt yourself (whether you are able to care for yourself in those moments or not).
 
So that’s the big one.
The thing is, it’s not the only one.
Possibly because all the Brene Brown I’ve been reading has been bringing home what Glamour is really about (not what I would have expected), and possibly because Glamour has been feeling kind of hard for me lately, I’ve caught myself thinking a lot about Miss Sugar’s Glamour Pop Quiz questions, particularly the one about What You Really, Really Want, and… what I really want, when I think about it – what this whole Queen of Cups project is supposed to allow me to access – is this. Nothing more, and nothing less, than the Happiness & Home embodied by the Ten of Cups.
 
When it first came to me, I sneared.
 
Really, Meliad? Happiness?? Is that all?
 
Shouldn’t I have been more ambitious? Isn’t wanting a steady, caring home, and a big, queer, chosen family to love and be loved by… isn’t that Not Much At All?
And then I thought: Am I greedy, to want so much? Is it too much to ask that my heart overflow with love and joy instead of sadness and yearning?
 
And then I had a dream.
I dreamed a house that was a weird combination of the house I once owned, a house I didn’t rent when I was in my 20s, the trailer-park home of a friend’s mom near Quebec City where I was made so welcome, the imagined architectural layout of The Cloud Club[2], my ex-partner’s apartment, and the second-floor walk-up of the Toronto friends who played host to me at the end of March and who have a huge, old, fruitful pear tree growing next to their balcony.
I dreamed this house, with the backyard I have now, and the neighbours I have now, except that the hella-gardening Vietnamese lady now looked suspiciously like Shine Louise Houston[3].
I dreamed this house with potted plants outside the balcony door, and garden ready to grow its next season of fruits and veggies. I dreamed my wife and I joking together while getting the balcony in shape. I dreamed C holed up in a messy nest of a room, healing and feeling safe and still part of my heart’s family. I dreamed a friend of my neighbour (she looked like Snow White, if Snow White had the kind of hips and ass normally associated with Fertility Goddesses and the kind of asymetrical bob currently associated with queers of a whole slew of genders) flirting with me, calling me “Hey femme,” and telling me she liked my legs.
I dreamed love and hope. I dreamed relationships that last. I dreamed joy in ordinary moments. I dreamed fruitfulness and abundance and having Enough, feeling Enough. Not Hungry. And not Overwhelming.
I woke up and knew that this was plenty “good enough” to be a Great Work. I woke up and knew it was not Too Much to ask.
 
~*~
 
So thats what my sacred spaces have had to tell me.
Onwards and upwards, campers!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Today, on the other hand, the sun is out, the snow is pretty-much GONE, the crocuses are blooming, and the leaves are starting to stretch and open up. My rhubarb survived the winter! (At least one did – we’ll see about the other two, which got planted waaaaaaaaay later and may not have got themselves established before the cold hit for real). So things are looking up. 🙂
 
[2] Where Amanda Palmer lives, fyi.
 
[3] Yes, the Shine who runs Pink and White Productions.

Are You Receiving? (New Year, New You)

Sunday, January 22nd – Ice/Hunger Moon begins.

So, hey. Last night I performed a new poem inspired by minus-thirty (with wind-chill) temperatures and Norse apocalyptic mythology. It was short, but it worked and people liked it. I may submit it to Goblin Fruit in the hopes of getting it into a Winter issue a year from now or something (thense my not posting it here, actually. Sorry).

As far as Ice Moon and Hunger Moon go… they’re pretty apt for where we’re at right now. Meaning that the ground is one big, uneven patch of inch-thick ice and I’m about to end my contract and leap back into the wilds of All-Hustle-All-the-Time (although, to hear, well, everybody tell it, 2012 is going to be the year of give’r, get ‘er done, hustle, and other terms that typically mean “push for all you’re worth, because you’ve only got you to get through this”. Fitting? Yeah, probably. 🙂 Wish me (and everyone else) some good luck on that front, eh? 🙂

Anyway. On the looking for omens front…

Beyond my own house, I don’t have much of anywhere (okay, I can think of two places, but they are both pretty asleep right now, also: did I mention the minus-thirty temperatures? I am not Miss Sugar to risk frostbite for a ritual on the beach. I may love my ancestors, but my daddy didn’t raise an idiot and I don’t think he, or my various grandparents and great-grandparents, would be too thrilled if I lost my toes over a rit I could do in my house) that I think of as one of my Sacred Spaces. It’s pretty much hearth-all-the-way around here.

So. What’s been happening around here?

I had a dream the other night that there was a fire in my building and I had to choose which things (in a big cardboard box) I was going to save. There were a lot of things I’d made in their – mostly knitting (although that may have more to do with what I’ve been doing in my free time than anything else) and, for some reason, sheets of mathematical formulas. o.O I left the math – and the hat I’d made my mom – and picked… my old computer and the stuff I’d made for myself (wooly things to keep myself warm).
I’m not entirely sure what that’s about, but hey. Dream.

Also: I’ve been picking up on neglect of late. That could just be me needing to refill my own well of affection (needs to happen on the regular, so), but I’ve also been noticing it. As in: Feed your honey pots. Water your plants. Do the laundry and generally get the place back in order. (And, yes, my partner is also my servant. So a big chunk of that last one is more “stop neglecting your submissive and give her something to follow-through on,” but regardless).

So… Between the two of these, I’m guessing my Message from hearth and home is something along the lines of “You make things and can take care of yourself and are creative and have the ability to be self-sufficient. Stop neglecting those bits of yourself[1], get it through your head that this stuff is important, and it’s what you want to do with your life; and get on with it, already”.

So, hey. That’s what I’m picking up. (Alternative interpretations are welcome – will be doing tarot later (for a given value of “later”, I’m off to a photo shoot in an hour and we’ve still got dinner to do) to clarify and similar).

On a tangentially related note, have a link on how to make your own luck (or money, or fill-in-the-blank):
Cooking makes for a Magic-Ready Cupboard (to-which I say: No kidding. Every damn “easy, typical staple” ingredient in a kitchen cupboard seems to be good for love-money-sex-happiness… with some health thrown in for good measure, too. “Traditional” has multiple meanings everywhere you go and folk-magic ALWAYS relies on what you’ve got lying around. Because the Folk don’t have time or money to go out hunting up exotic ingredients – if we’ve even heard of them – between getting supper on the table and getting our kids off to school/field/bed/wedding. So. No surprises there. ;-))

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] I didn’t think I was neglecting them. But that could also mean (a) that I’m denying or pushing-away or not trusting those bits of myself, or those options, or something; OR in could mean (b) the “refilling the well” type of neglect that gets talked about in The Artist’s Way – I swear the cover of that book reminds me so much of both my 2-of-Fire and my 8-of-Fire cards, it’s not even funny. I wonder if that was intentional, given the suit of Fire’s connotations… Either way.

Looking for Omens (in all the wrong places…) – A Progress Report of Sorts

The trick with having multiple blogs is that you always feel like you’re neglecting one of them. I’ve been neglecting Syrens for what feels like weeks now ( about 10 days, actually), although it’s been getting a fair bit of input recently. But, of course, this means I feel like I’m neglecting Urban Meliad.
Figures.

Ice/Hunger Moon is coming up (on Sunday, by the looks of things[1]) and I’m trying to get my ducks in a row with regards to my take on the New Year, New You project.

On that note:
I dreamed, last night, that I was looking after an excitable little boy who – for reasons I don’t entirely understand (I think he was just unthinkingly enthusiastic and/or wanting to impressive by emphatically getting the answer right) decided to start throwing lit candle(s) around the place.
The candle he threw (a) broke, but (b) didn’t stop burning. Although (c) nothing else caught fire (thank goodness) and I was able to put the (still burning) candle back together. He got sniffly about it. I think he was afraid he was going to get in Big Trouble.

My “big accomplishment” today has been Actually Watering the Plants – which I’ve also been neglecting. And noticing that I’m avoiding being social with a lot of people. Huh… Can’t tell if that’s just a wintery desire for hibernation or what, but it’s there.

So that’s what I’m noticing, so far, with regards to Miss Sugar’s latest New Year New You prompt regarding looking for signs and omens. (I’m not exactly looking for Signs and Omens, but I’m looking for recurring themes. No idea if that’s the same thing…)

Anyway. Tonight I’m in a poetry show and, hopefully, also getting some knitting done. (I’m trying to finish a mostly-virgin-wool, partially-merino, partially-other-stuff, black and red beret for next weekend. Wish me luck!)

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] I confess, I rely more on my We’Moon date book than on the actual (frequently overcast) sky for this one, so…