Tag Archives: wheel of the year

Full Moon – Honey/Rose Moon Crests, Summer Solstice Impending

“Bee on a Rose” – Courtesy of AussieGal through Wiki Free Images – A honey bee approaches a cluster of pale pink rose blossoms.


 
It’s full moon today! It’s bright and sunny and breezy and warm! The seed-mustard that got decapitated at New Moon is now in full flower! The groundcherries have been transplanted to a slightly safer location! I planted tomatoes! (And also added anise hyssop, borrage, and extra squash to my garden). The roses in the neighbourhood are big and blousy and fragrant as heck! It’s a beautiful day, and my wife and I are going to go out for ice cream when she gets home from work. 😀
We’re both still recovering from bronchitis, which is less than fun, but the hot weather makes it easier (and encourages us both to drink heaps of water, which helps deal with all the crap that comes with bronchitis, tbh) and we’re both really ready for a date with each other, so we’re jumping on it while the weather’s nice.
 
In other news, I am trying to make “cooking wine” (because I’m not actually expecting this to be good) by fermenting frozen-from-concentrate grape punch with bread yeast. I mean, who knows. But it’s a $1.05 level experiment, so I’m giving it a go. I also have plans for a variation on cafloutis that uses rhubarb curd as a significant ingredient. The plan is to fill a grased pie plate with service berries, and then douse everything in a batter made from a pint of rhubarb curd plus a cup of milk and half a cup of flour. Possibly, there will be an extra egg, but I doubt it. Dinner’s going to be some kind of picnic food – probably chicken sandwiches with mustard greens and some quartered tomatoes with a little salt on them. We can eat them all on the back steps, with wine, and then take a walk to go get dessert.
 
Chani Nicholas is talking about how the New Moons and Full Moons connect with each other, and that right now – with the Full Moon in Sagittarius – is the time to check back on what you were striving for when the moon was new in the same sign. So right around Early December of last year.
At the time, I was thinking about the impending Winter Solstice, about social justice stuff and, more to the point, about long term planning and sharing what we have. A lot of the positive changes that have happened since then weren’t even on my radar yet. Still, I can look back, and see where the turning points are.
 
Summer Solstice is coming up at the end of the week. I’m watching cherries, red currants, and service berries fill out and start edging towards ripeness. All the flowers – motherwort, rose, wild geranium, and bergamot – that I gathered to open up my heart years ago, coming back to bloom again. How do I share myself in a way that doesn’t drain me? How do I open up, be curious, and believe my own Yes – intuitive or otherwise – without taking the kind of poorly planned risks that are more likely to get me in trouble than to get me somewhere I want to go? Where are my own turning points, and am I at one now?
 
Over at Hoodwitch, Lisa Stardust is pointing out that the current astrological configuration is one that “cosmically task[s] [us] to assert our will and fight for our dreams”, and warns about being clear on what those dreams actually are, and to actually be honest with ourselves about that. Like, do you want to Just Be Okay? Or do you actually want this weird Palimpsest Life to start making bank in a more than subsistence fashion that might mean you get to retire some day? Is your dream to be paid stupidly high amounts of money to do easy work, or is it to be paid appropriately to do work that you’ve been involved with for so long it feels easy, even though you know it’s not? Because one of those things is true, and the other is a lie that sells yourself short.
 

Next World AND Silicon Dawn decks – Seven of Earth, Knight of Air, Page of Earth, Nine of Air.


 
Liz Worth offers a tarot spread for connecting with this Full Moon, so I gave it a whirl. Here’s what I got:
 
What am I ready to break away from: Seven of Earth
The Seven of Earth is a card about “doing things for the love of it” and “things paying off in the long run” (rather than the short term). It’s a good card, with a lot of positive aspects, but I can relate to being pretty fed up with “work hard now, get paid… maybe?” situations when those labours of love aren’t being supplemented by labours – of love or otherwise – that are being appropriately compensated.
In a lot of instances, when I get this card, I tend to read it as “keep following your bliss, and the rest will work out eventually” but, in a slot designated as “what am I ready to break away from” I’m inclined to read it, instead, as a reminder to know the worth of my time, energy, attention, and skillsets, and to start demanding that people value them appropriately.
 
What kind of freedom can I create for myself: Knight of Air
The Knight of Air is opinionated, decisive, and doesn’t mince words. She knows how to navigate her own anger and channel it appropriately. I had hoped to find a pentacles cared here – some hint that I could create financial and material freedom for myself – instead, I have this. The suggestion that I need to stop beating around the bush, say what I want, and expect people to follow through, rather than doing the thing I tend to do – whether we’re talking romance or employment or anything else – where I shrink back and ask for less than I want in the hopes of getting anything at all.
The freedom I can create for myself comes from using my words and not settling for less.
 
What kind of inspiration can I now embrace: Page of Earth
The Page of Earth is a sweet card. It’s a card about embracing curiosity and exploring new things. All of that “Stop second guessing your Yes” from New Moon? This relates to that. It’s a card that says “use your body to act on your dreams”. It says – in direct relation to the Seven of Earth, above – “Work with what you have, but have a little faith in yourself, and in others, in order to grow prosperous and draw to you what you need”.
In the context of where to find inspiration, it’s a little harder to read. But I think it’s suggesting that I can be inspired by what I do in the day-to-day, whether that’s working in my garden or my kitchen, or working at a job. That, if I approach all my day-to-day things with curiosity and an openness to new experiences, that I will be inspired by what I come across and what I try.
 
What next step can I take to create the change I want: Nine of Air
Ugh. Okay. The Nine of Air is kind of a crappy card to pull. Even at the best of times. So often, it’s a card about giving up, a card about grief.
The Next World tarot treats it as a call to “stop ignoring your pain” and to really sink into it and feel all those feelings, to embrace grief and rage and hysteria as power. Which they are. Rather like the Osho Zen deck that depicts the Nine of Air as “Sorrow” and alludes to the awareness that comes when you actually pay attention and recon the costs of what you’ve lost, this deck suggests that “this is the moment we are asked to ignore” by our bosses, among others. In this way, it relates to the Seven of Air (in this reading) and its reminder to “know and demand your worth”.
The Silicon Dawn treats the Nine of Air as… “seeing enemies everywhere” and suggests that maybe – as suggested by the Page of Earth – my Next Step is to “have a little faith” that not everybody is trying to screw me over.
The Wildwood tarot offers a very different take from both of these, framing the Nine of Air as “dedication” – possibly via the way that people who go hard for things tend to be really stressed out – and remind us of the need to approach the things we want with sincerity, self-discipline, and hard work. Like, even if you land that dream job, it’s still a job, and you still have to show up and do what you get paid to do.
No kidding.
Here’s hoping I get to take that step.
 
~*~
 
The two cards that fell – or rather slid – out of the Next World deck as I was shuffling for my Tarot Meditation cards were: The Five of Swords and the Seven of Wands. “Survival” and “Courage”, respectively.
According to Cristy C. Road, the Five of Swords “asks you to walk the path of respect and humanity […] to challenge stability to find safety”. More broadly, this is a card of self-interest, of prioritizing your own needs and wants over someone else’s convenience or complacency. Similarly, Ms Road describes the Seven of Wands as one who has what she needs to make her own magic, to nurture and wield her own power, and who needs to create a bubble where she can do that, despite the systems of power (political, social, or personal) that employ scare tactics, intimidation, and shame to discourage her and keep her small. It’s a card about holding fast to your boundaries and going after what you want.
Both of these cards relate so much to above reading’s reminder to “Know and demand your worth”.
I’ll try to hold onto that as I take steps, in the next two weeks, to nail down my goals.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Lots of walking. A little bit of yoga – every time I skip it for a day or two, I’m reminded of why I actually should do it every day. >.> – but, still. A little bit of yoga. And I did, in fact, make it out to Actual Dancing two weeks ago, which was great.
 
Attention: Watching the garden, and the variety of wildlife that lives in it – we have BUNNIES! Or at least bunny, which suggests there’s probably a mom somewhere in the vicinity. My squash is doing… okay, given its initial attack-by-squirrels (or possibly rabbits), and the annual herbs are edging towards big enough to start harvesting.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for reality checks. For flirty texts with my girlfriend and dates with my wife. For greens and radishes and rhubarb from the garden. For sunshine. For laundry money. For a plane ticket and a travel date lined up. For all the gay-gay-gay happening in cities where I’m not, that makes it feel like Pride is an entire season long. Ice cream and weather warm enough to enjoy it outdoors.
 
Inspiration: Reading Trigger (Venus Selenite), Hild (Nicola Griffith), Ritual Sex (Tristan Taormino & David Aaron Clark), and Urban Tantra (Barbara Carrellas).
 
Creation: The tailoring on the leather jacket is… getting close to done. (I haven’t worked on it in almost a week, mind you).

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (and Wanes)

Pear blossoms in bloom. White flowers, green leaves, red brick in the background

Pear blossoms in bloom. White flowers, green leaves, red brick in the background


 
It’s drizzly again, but humid now. The temperature is higher. The tulips, daffodils, and cherries are blooming, and the crab apples and pears – as seen in the above photo – have opened up as well. The service berries have pretty-much finished their flowering. Even the rhubarb is starting to flower. We are deep in Beauty Season already.
It’s lovely out.
Even with the drizzle.
I’ve spent the day watering the garden (possibly unnecessarily) and getting the house back in order after a spending a week with my visiting girlfriend (who left me with copies of Hild – a historical novel set in 7th Century proto-England which includes some really solid research into, and depictions of, early-medieval English life with regards to food and textiles, and the work involved in making same – and Ritual Sex, which is a book of essays and stories, by various authors, about pretty-much what it says on the tin. My wheelhouses, let me show you them).
 
I finished the cotton skirt (which has a draw-string and no zipper required). I still have a dozen things to mend or alter or create from whole cloth (literally), but I’m a little bit closer to what I want my “summer wardrobe” to look like (shrugs and boleros, flowy maxi skirts, cute sun dresses, and fitted tank tops, maybe the odd shawl, as needed).
I’m thinking about glamour – as in the active practice of doing personal authenticity in a way that is also fascinating to others – and about how I want to present myself when I’m out in the world.
 
A long time ago, I was 30lbs under weight[1] due to stress, recently separated and in the midst of an actually very easy divorce, and trying to figure out how the heck I wanted to dress myself when I’d spent the last seven years working in a retail environment where we were expected to wear what we sold, and where the clientele was about 30 years my senior and employed full-time by the government. I was trying to figure out how to dress myself, yes. But I was also trying to figure out what I wanted people to see when they looked at me. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be “as a grown up”, when “grown up” had rather suddenly stopped meaning “suburban home-ownership + husband + hypothetical impending children”. I feel like I’ve been trying to sort that out for the past 12 years.
 
More recently – as in this past week – I’ve been “on vacation” living an on-going power exchange with my girlfriend in a way that’s really only possible when you’re on vacation (as in: in the same city, yeah, but more importantly: enjoying limited stress, deliberately limited distractions, tonnes of sleep, and abundant time for long walks by the river or otherwise going on dates). Under these circumstances, it’s easier to dress with clearly-defined intent, focus deeply on your Other Person, and to both plan, and follow through on, shared activities.
Whether the “vacation” in question is a once-a-season get-together with a loved one, or a once-a-year cheap fare to an all-inclusive beach locale or a saved-up-for major subcultural event, it’s a situation where glamour is easy. As Ms Sugar might put it, vacation, like Pinterest, is seductive “because everything is beautiful and nothing hurts there”.
 
So I find myself asking: How do I bring that glamour – that focused intention, that follow-through, that action of being interesting and interested – to my day-to-day life? How, too, do I invite that attention and sensuality in as well?
 
Next World Tarot - Two of Wands - A Black femme in a blue skirt and a leopard print top, with close-cut hair, holds a mace in her left hand and regards the reader through cat-eye glasses.

Next World Tarot – Two of Wands – A Black femme in a blue skirt and a leopard print top, with close-cut hair, holds a mace in her left hand and regards the reader through cat-eye glasses.


 
This conveniently relates to my Tarot Meditation card, which is a reminder that I have power here, and can make choices that will help make these things happen.
I initially drew this card from the Silicon Dawn deck, where it’s called “Will” (the two of pentacles) and is described by the artist as something like “The confidence to dance with the lightning” and the balancing of the ever-moving energies that one exists between. (Egypt Urnash also says, in her write-up of this card, “If you’re asking whether you should have some kind of tantric ceremony soon, the answer is ‘Yes'”, so… relevant to my interests, tbh).
 
I generally understand the Two of Fire – regardless of how the suit is named – as a card about “Make a Decision”. A card about setting your intention and then putting in the work – and the Will – to follow-through and go get it.
I see this reflected in the way Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha describes this card, as it appears in the Next World Tarot (the image is a portrait of a specific person), in their piece “3 crazy queens” (in Tonguebreaker”):

She stands there, asking you What is your deepest truth and desire, your deepest wound to heal? Only facing those things in a world on fire will give you what you need to live.

 
If I look at this card in the context of the “present” situation in the three-card draw I did at New Moon (and, yes, the moon is waning right now, but I’m still working with this), I have to ask myself:
In the face of infinite potential, what choices am I making that will point me towards that open-hearted future I want so much? Where can I say “Yes” more? Where can I choose the lens of curiosity and adventure over the lens of anxiety and catastrophizing?
Reader? There are definitely some situations in my life where this choice is very obviously before me, and I will try to say “Yes” and be adventurous.
Wish me luck!
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking all over town. Moon Salutations. Weeding the garden. Modeling gigs with short poses.
 
Attention: What information is coming my way? Where can I see opportunities arising? How did those squash seedlings wind up sprouting in the compost? (Okay, I strongly suspect the squirrels for that one…)
 
Gratitude: Grateful for partners who love me and think the best of each other. For friends who show up when one of us needs help with groceries. For hot, humid weather (even if there’s not a lot of it, yet). For modeling work. For fresh bread from the oven. For squirrels who, apparently, think the compost heap is an excellent place to bury purloined squash seeds (I actually agree with them on this, thence the gratitude). For books from the library and gifted books from my sweetie. For being able to being able to be in the same room with my girlfriend for a whole week, after months of being apart. For my wife, who gave us the space to do so, and who was happy to come home to me. For my family.
 
Inspiration: Patrick Califia’s “Shiny Sharp Things” essay in Ritual Sex.
 
Creation: I’m mid-way through altering a turquoise leather jacket (the plan is to do the sewing over the weekend, as I’ll be hanging out with my lovely wife as she sews back patches and similar at the Ride For Dad after-party and will, thus, have access to her sewing machine, contact cement, and leather-compatible needles. Also wrote up a new recipe for Rhubarb-Banana muffins, which I’m testing out (they’re baking right now) today.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Let’s just say I have a pretty solid idea of what my bones and organs weigh because there really wasn’t much else left of me at that point.

New Moon – Flower Moon Begins

White grape hyacinth blooming amid green crane's bill and last year's dry leaves

White grape hyacinth blooming amid green crane’s bill and last year’s dry leaves


 
The New Moon in Taurus brought summer weather with it. Hot sun on bare skin. Magnolias opening, but a week later, it’s cold again. Drizzly. Closer to five degrees than ten. The cold-weather crops (“crops”) that I sowed a week ago are sprouting and probably loving this weather. I have chickpeas (slooooowly) sprouting in a jar on the counter, but I’m huddled over my computer as I write this, looking out at the grey day and its Scotch Mist weather.
 
I have a Pinterest board where I put pictures that make me think “glamourous”. There are a vast number of women with horns among those images. Last night a memory tugged at my mind and I put “horn dance” into the search bar, and what I found was the oldest dance in England.
So now I’m thinking about how the Horn Dance – the one done in Abbots Bromley (Northern England, about 300km south of my families historical territories in Scotland) which is a solid thousand years old at this point – happens during the same time as the actual deer are rutting in the Fall (the few weeks on either side of Autumn Equinox, roughly), and how the dance is connected to the fertility of the fields. I’m thinking of Root Time and Leaf Time, the stag king and the wolf king – and since when do I think of “kings” at all, but here we are – and how they trade places at Samhain and Beltane, at first planting and last harvest.
I’m thinking about land-waking rights and how modern, city people (AKA: people like me) tend to think of “land waking” as a thing that happens in the Spring (AKA: right now) because the perennials are coming up again, the trees are leafing out, the geese are back and the robins are singing, and there are baby squirrels tearing about all over the place. I’m thinking about how Beltane is our sex holiday, but that – from a purely conception-related stand-point[1], so do what you wanna with that one – it kind of makes sense to have something similar in the Autumn, right around when you’d be planting new apple trees (or shallots and garlic, or larkspur and scilla for that matter) and feeding them up for the long sleep to come when they’ll get their roots in good and strong before their waking in Spring.
I’m thinking about Harvest – midway between Mabon and Samhain – and how much magic and ritual happens in that fucking dungeon. I’m thinking about the horned beast that lives in me, that came out to dance during one of those rituals, how the red thread of connection from that ritual is woven into the fetish shawl that I pin together with antler tips.
 
I’m thinking all this while my altar candles burn down and I huddle in my (recently washed – I’ve spent the past two days doing laundry) fuzzy bathrobe trying to stay warm, having turned the heat off in the house at the New Moon.
I have bread to make today (yeast bread, rather than sourdough, though I’ll be feeding my starter again), dishes to do, a lot of mending to work on – fixing a couple of sweaters, finishing a project that exists somewhere between a skater skirt and a cotton slip, seeing how many zippers I have lying around and whether or not I can put one in the side of a midi-length crinkle cotton skirt, or if I even need to do so (I might be able to do buttons and loops or something at the waist-band instead…) It’s a day for hot tea and having the oven on, for hiding out under a heap of cloth and keeping cozy.
 
Next World Tarot - PAST Three of Swords, Reversed - PRESENT Magician, Uprights - FUTURE Knight of Cups, Upright

Next World Tarot – PAST Three of Swords, Reversed – PRESENT Magician, Uprights – FUTURE Knight of Cups, Upright


 
For the New Moon in Taurus, I pulled three cards from Cristy C Road’s Next World Tarot. And then I wrote poetry about them, as one does. The short version is:
A past of heartache and a future of open-heartedness and, right now, a moment of change, of leveling up, of “from this moment onward, you have agency”. A claiming of my power and my potential.
A work in progress, obviously – I mean, it’s never “one and done”, right? But, if I’m reading this right, then I’m on the right track and should keep doing what I’m doing, and changing what I’m changing.
Fingers crossed!
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking. Moon salutations. Went to the park and attempted to do pull-ups (and failed, utterly, but that’ll get better with time and practice).
 
Attention: Watching the weather. Watching the calendar (my girlfriend will be here in a week). Paying attention to my hips and lower back and how and when they ache and what helps. Watching the leaves come out and the flowers in the front yard start blooming (just barely) and the rhubarb start to get big and the lovage, for whether or not it’s taking its transplant well (seems to be).
 
Gratitude: It being warm enough (technically) to turn the heat off. Good relationships with my metamours. Fresh greens from the garden (dandelion, sorrel, crow garlic, nettles, lovage). Cucurbit seedlings from friends. A cupboard full of fabric and yarn for me to make things with. A fridge full of food. Hangouts with My People. A new bag of (parafin…) candles for the altar. Yoga poses that consistently open my hips and de-kink my lower back. My wife’s compersion. My girlfriend’s impending visit(!!!).
 
Inspiration: The garden. Household maintenance tasks (believe it or not). My romantic relationships. Queer communities and subcultures. Thousand-year-old dances. The Next World tarot deck. My hopes for the future.
 
Creation: I’ve written six poems in the past week, and have another one (barely) started, with notes for topics to explore in a bunch more, so Go Me.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] A kiddo conceived around Mabon would be born right around Midsummer which, in these parts, is just about when the food gets really plentiful, and just a little bit before the real heat sets in and makes being heavily pregnant utter hell.

New Moon – Leaf Moon Begins

“Magnolia x veitchii bud at Brooklyn Botanic Garden” – Photo by Rhododendrites – Via Wiki Free Images – A twig, ending in a fuzzy, unopened magnolia bud in sharp focus, against a blurry background of vague greening.


 
I admit, I might be jumping the gun a little bit on “leaf” for a name of this lunar cycle, as the trees are very much still bare. BUT the earliest crocus and scilla are starting to poke their green sprouts above the soil and the grey-brown creeping charlie in my back yard is starting to re-green, so I’m going with it.
The compost was turned for the first time this year (by my wife) last weekend. The snow is disappearing at a rate that seems both rapid and sedate (meaning: the streets were never a disgusting slurry of melt-water and accumulated dog shit, thank you literally all the gods). The freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw of night and day, since Spring Equinox, has – I hope – been good for the maple syrup folks but, either way, it’s sap time – the once-a-year heartbeat of the world (systolic-diastolic, hemisphere to hemisphere, north-south, north-south[1]).
My wife asked me, yesterday, if I keep a garden journal and, yeah, I do. It’s this. So many things have been added to my lunar cycles posts since I started writing them in… 2011, I think? But they were initially a way to keep track of what the weather was doing and get a feel for what the seasons feel like in my bio-region. One more way of “getting to know the neighbours”.
I shuffled my wildwood deck and asked my Ladies of Earth and All Green Things how they were doing and if they had anything to say. The card that came up – and I do recognize that I have some say in this, which… I’m not sure how I feel about that right now – rather frequently was The Breath of Life.
Right now, the neighbours are waking up. A stretch. A yawn. A big breath in before the long out-breath of sprout and bloom and fruit and fall again.
Heh. I can’t help but smile a little at this, just because the folks who came up with the Wildwood deck in the first place think of Spring (Imbolg to Beltane, in their case, because they’re in Southern England) as the time of Arrows.
In my case, the waking up doesn’t happen until now and, like me, my Ladies may be stiff in the morning and need to thaw their joints out for a while. Still, I’m watching the back yard for the rhubarb, which should be sticking her head up above the soil, oh, probably right around Full Moon, if last year was anything to go by.
 
It’s early April. Which means I’m doing the eat from the larder challenge again – in my usual “milk and eggs are still fine” way – in an effort to clear out some freezer space and use up the vast quantities of jam and fruit butter I put up last year. So you can expect at least a few posts about fruit-butter Hippy Muffins and hummus seasoned with garlic, basil, and jam (no, really – just don’t use a LOT of jam). I’ve managed to successfully make two batches of tasty, structurally-sound sourdough bread which, while still in the realm of flukes and coincidence, bodes at least a little bit well for continuing in this vein.
 
Last full moon, I wrote about being on the hunt (again) for another anchor income. I’ve since had a few leads, and one “preliminary interview”, though we’ll see whether or not it comes to anything. Fingers crossed, because it would make a big difference to have that reliable cash coming in, even if there’d still be a fair bit of hustle going on, on top of it.
In poetry news: I spent last week at VERSeFest, getting inspired and scribbling drafts (hallelujah!), received a cheque in the mail for the publication of this poem, and – just this morning – signed the contributor contract for the pieces I wrote about here. It’s National Poetry Month, and I’m looking forward to writing many – probably mediocre, but drafting is still drafting – poems during the next few weeks.
I’m also looking forward to visiting some friends, just outside of town, this weekend, and am hoping to read, knit, and write some more poetry while I’m there.
 
Something I’ve recently started doing, which is relevant to the theme and scheduling of these posts, is Moon Salutations. It’s a series of yoga poses that focus primarily on (gentle) back-bends and hip-opener poses and, while I’m not scheduling them during my day to line up with moon rise, I am using them to take a couple of minutes in my day (usually morning) to both (a) help my lower back and hips unlock[2], and (b) spend some time intentionally thinking about and focusing my thoughts on my Lady of the Moon.
I figure I’m doing a lot of stuff that focuses on my Lady of the Sun – because she handles stuff like courage, money, and (most relevantly, in this instance) sex – with added, somewhat coincidental (sorry) links to my Lady of the Earth just because of all the root chakra stuff I’m doing, and I thought it might be a good idea to reach out to someone I feel like I’ve been kind of neglecting… for ever. Not right of me, you know? I want to do more to reach out to her. This is one way for me to do that, so I’m doing it. ❤
 
~*~
 
Scorpio Mystique says:

New Moon occurs on Friday morning, take time to set New Moon Intentions that allow you to embody Aries energy — let yourself be seen, take the lead, and be more self-confident. Where would you be six months from now if you had no fear?

 
…and suggests thinking about it specifically and making a concrete plan to get there.
She says “You’re the Phoenix, baby. You can go through hell and back, and still you rise, from your very own ashes, soaring higher than ever before”.
So. Where would I be in six months, if I had no fear?
Reading at the local launch of Hustling Verse. Launching my chapbook of lunar poetry through a local qaf small press. Possibly prepping to facilitate a panel discussion on sacred kink, deep play, and ordeal work? (Yeah, that one feels a lot more precarious).
What would I be? More economically stable. Physically stronger and more limber. More sexually curious, joyful, and confident.
 

Mary El Tarot - Knight of Discs - A child sits on the back of a lounging white tiger, under the shelter of a mature, leafing tree.

Mary El Tarot – Knight of Discs – A child sits on the back of a lounging white tiger, under the shelter of a mature, leafing tree.


 
The card I drew – by splitting the deck at random and seeing what was there – for today’s (this waxing moon’s) tarot meditation is the Knight of Earth. A card of slow and steady progress, of responsibility, and of getting one’s house in order – literally and figuratively. Maybe because it’s tax season, maybe because I’ve got a lot of personal projects on the go, maybe because the earth herself is slowly but surely waking up, maybe because Yes, Aries Season, but I know myself enough to know that slow, steady, consistent steps get me where I need to go more reliably than a flat-out sprint ever has… maybe for a lot of reasons: this card seems particularly apt today.
 
If I were to set an intention, with this card in mind, for this waxing Aries moon?
It would be to bloom like spring. Slowly and steadily, but surely. Inexorably, moving towards creation, vitality, sensuality, and abundance.
 
I invite the firy energy and passionate verve of Aries to light me up and fuel me for the long haul ahead
I invite the steady, determined energy of the Knight of Earth to walk me through these small, cumulative acts of transformation.
I invite myself to open and open, to let my deep red umbilical roots explore their way deeper in to the earth and draw up the strength, stability, and nourishment I need, to breathe in the breath of life and feed my own warm fires of creativity, connection, and courage, to lift myself from a steady base and rise.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Moon salutations and other yoga, very close to daily (almost but not quite). A number of modeling gigs that were heavy on short poses (meaning more emphasis on strength and flexibility rather than endurance, in terms of what my body needs in order to be able to do them). Long walks to and from work. I skipped the ecstatic dance party last night (I have been more physically worn out lately than I’ve been in, I think, a while… don’t know why), BUT there’s another one coming up just before the full moon which, health & body stuff permitting, I’ll get out to. A little bit of dancing to F+tM and Kesha in my hallway, which does my back and hips and heart lots of good.
 
Attention: Watching the green come back. Keeping an eye out for rhubarb shoots and impending magnolia blossoms. On a more inward-focused note, doing root chakra exercises that have a lot to do with mindful/attentive/intentional/focused breath and muscle relaxation. Holding my Lady in my mind’s eye when I do my Moon Salutations. Attending to my sourdough starter in a way that is slightly less lackadaisical than it has been in the past. Watching the birds and other critters in the back yard as they wake up, come back, or just hunt around for nesting materials now that the snow is going away.
 
Gratitude: SPRING! Temperatures above freezing! The greening of the world! Birds making nests! A turned compost heap! Sunshine that actually feels warm! A great conversation with my girlfriend! An impromptu fancy meal with my wife and her girlfriend last night! My food processor and yoghurt-enabled instant pot! The friend who gives me a friends-and-family deal on her family’s sugar-bush goodies! Paid poetry publications! A donated replacement recycling bin from a friend up the street! Someone buying me two books of poetry as a thank you for a reading I did half a decade ago! Making out with my wife! Amazing poetry shows! Flirting with my girlfriend via text! A pretty amazing present from a metamour! Hanging out with other poets! Job opportunities that actually fit with what I want to do! Successful sourdough bread! Parties and hangouts with friends! …It’s been an astonishingly awesome couple of weeks, kittens. ❤
 
Inspiration: TBH, actually the contents of my freezer and cupboards. It’s nice to be meal-planning again, even if it’s not a hard-and-fast plan. Also: Talking about ritual and kink with a friend over twitter, because that’s always awesome and inspiring.
 
Creation: I have written some poems! I have plans (to be enacted this afternoon) to write some more! Woohoo!
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] “That would have to be important. How fast did a forest’s heart beat? Once a year, maybe. Yes, that sounded about right. Out there the forest was waiting for the brighter sun and longer days that would pump a million gallons of sap several hundred feet into the sky in one great systolic thump too big and loud to be heard.”
― Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters.
 
[2] The phsyio I do for my back effectively boils down to doing Plank on a frequent and regular basis, but some of the other exercises are meant to strengthen the muscles around my lumbar spine and yoga poses like Bow, Warrior 1, and Crescent Moon make a start at that as well. Between that and the hip-flexor stuff that goes on in the same poses, I find they’re helping – though I need to be careful with stuff like Bridge and Plow (good ones for Root Chakra work, and core strength, but also prone to exacerbating my back pain) – to loosen me up in the mornings and make it easier for me to both walk upright, and to sit at a computer for long periods of time. Woot!

Full Moon – Slush Moon Crests (Spring Equinox)

“Frosty track in the King’s Forest” – Photo by Bob Jones, courtesy of Wiki Free Images – “Early morning and the well-trodden track leading into the forest from the car park is still showing signs of frost. Two hours later, the frost had turned to slush, as rising temperatures caused a quick thaw.”


 
The full moon, and the Spring equinox, are due to arrive tomorrow.
It’s the time of year for Spring Cleaning – which in my case means going through the closets and weeding out the stuff I’ve avoided wearing all winter, tackling The Mending, and trying to sort through All The Objects currently hiding out in our spare bedroom in the name of getting rid of some of them and making a bit more space in there.
 
At new moon, I mentioned feeling like “I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want”. I was talking about employment. As I type this, I’ve got multiple tabs open to want-ads for part-time and casual office work, with an eye (again) to finding an anchor income. But there’s a heap of unwashed dishes downstairs, and a heap of mending beside me, and I haven’t written a poem in two weeks.
It’s like every week is the same cycle. Focus on finding and doing paid work, and everything else falls apart. Focus on creative work and personal growth? My finances get (even more) precarious and there’s dishes up to the ceiling. Focus on taking care of the house, and then chew my nails down to the nubs wondering if I’ll make the rent and, if all I’m going to do is cleaning and mending, can I really call myself A Writer and justify not having a full-time day job? Heck, can I say I’m living by my values if I’m buying heavily packaged prepared food to save on time, or buying not-so-ethical eggs and milk to save on money? And I’m like “And you want to focus on your sexual freedom??”
 
But, yeah, actually. I do.
I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with any of this. Not in the sense of going hard for the long haul. I know myself just enough to know that, yeah, I have to make myself keep moving, but also I’m more likely to keep it up past the first week (or month – Hi, Nanowrimo) if I treat any given thing as a marathon of consistent baby-steps rather than a sprint that just never ends.
None the less, I want this. I want to be a sex-bomb with flexible hips and a lot of tools in my toolbox for staying present in the moment. I want to be able to make erotic connections with my lovers and sweeties, and not have them be chucked off the rails due to my feeeeelings. I want my body to feel good enough, be strong enough, that I can be attentive to what feels pleasurable instead of worrying about warning signs of pain.
My wife says that I do “cognitive behavioural witchcraft” and… she’s not wrong. All that magic. All that rose quartz and thyme and breath work. All of it water. All of it easing new pathways through the stone.
 
So. Here I am. It’s about to be officially Spring. Aries Season, with its go-go-go focus on action is coming right along with it. It’s far too early to be planting things here (unless you’re one to start seeds indoors, granted), but the questions remain:
Just as the days gain length, slowly but surely, how and where can I make steady gains of my own?
What needs to thaw and flow? What needs to be contained and channeled? What needs to flood freely?
What do I need to do to prepare the soil for what I want to grow?
 
~*~
 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Maiden of Fools (R), Princess of Earth (R), and The Lovers (U).

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Maiden of Fools (R), Princess of Earth (R), and The Lovers (U).


 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Five of Air (U).

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Five of Air (U).


 
Tarot Card Meditation: The three cards along the top are my jumpers. The “Maiden of Fools” (the Silicon Dawn deck has, like, five Fool cards, plus Aleph November, the Fool Who Flies) jumped out first, as I was shuffling. Followed by the Princess of Earth and The Lovers (together) when I flipped over a section to find my hypothetical meditation card – which was the Five of Air. In this case, I’m reading the 5 of Air as almost an advisor card to the spread of cards that jumped out of the deck.
 
The five of swords is a card about conflict and zero-sum situations (if I win, someone else has to lose), but it’s also a card about thinking of your own needs and concentrating on yourself. Given that I was specifically asking about “Courage, curiosity, joy, and abundance: What do I need to know and focus on around this stuff?”, I’m inclined to lean towards the latter, though as an advisor – as a “be mindful of this” – card, it could go either way.
 
My jumper cards made me smile. If I read them as a time-spread (past, present, future), they bode well. Although part of me is looking at them and wondering “Okay, did my gods just answer with: Okay! Here are cards pertaining to courage, curiosity, joy,, and abundance!” Because it’s kind of looking like they did? (I’ll make it work).
 
The Maiden of Fools is all newness. The point I was at when I only had “yes” vs “no”. A point that I will happily be leaving in the past, provided I don’t fall back into it again. More broadly, the Fool(s) speak to spontaneity, freedom, new beginnings, and trust. This card says “start something new” and “begin and adventure”. It says “let go of expectations” and “step into the unknown”. It says “trust the flow” and “let go of your fear“. It says “live in joy” and “trust your heart’s desire”.
 
The Princess of Earth is literally a card about exploration and curiosity. It’s a card about trust and about getting comfortable with the unknown. It’s a card that says “grow and expand”, “seek abundance”, “enrich yourself”, and “draw to you what you need”. It also says “act on your dreams”, “make your plans real” and “achieve tangible results”. It says “experience nature”, and – possibly most relevant of all – “use your body”.
 
The Lovers – one of the reasons I love this deck is because The Lovers here are explicitly skipping out on duality. This card says “transcend the yes/no dichotomy”: a nice nod to what I want to let go of in my Fool card. It’s a card that says “question what you’ve been taught”. But it’s so much a card of seeking and making connections, of experiencing and acting on desire, of being true to yourself, recognizing who and what you value, and devoting your time, energy, and attention to both who and what you care about.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking, squats, and the beginnings of something like sit-ups. (I dream of areal-hooping classes, but those will have to wait until the day I have a spare $300 just lying around. So, until then, I can do stuff that will make aerial hooping easier on, and more possible for, my actual body).
 
Attention: Watching the ice melt and freeze and melt. Watching the days get longer (hurrah!) and the temperature get a little more reasonable just about every day. Keeping an eye on the job boards. Listening to what my body’s enjoying.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for unexpected modeling gigs. For a poetry acceptance from a paid market. For date nights with my wife ft good cheese, cheap wine, and duck sausage. For library books. For selkie poems. For video-chat dates with my girlfriend. For cocoa butter massage bars. For do-it-at-home yoga videos. For clear, mostly-dry sidewalks and sunshine.
 
Inspiration: Longer days. Perfume. Floor work. Pigeon-blood rubies and other red things. The smell of roses.
 
Creation: Not a lot, tbh. (See above, re: I haven’t written a poem in two weeks). I’m sorting through poetry to send out on submission (and have a recent publication), but that’s not the same as making something new.

New Moon – Slush Moon Begins

“View southeast along a slush-covered Errecart Boulevard from the Humboldt River Bridge during a snowstorm in Elko, Nevada” – Photo by Famartin via Wiki Free Images.


 
“Slush Moon”? So appetizing, right? I know. But it’s that time of year. The temperature is going to be zig-zagging back and forth across the frozen line for the next few weeks, melting the winter’s vast store of snow during the day and then freezing the run-off into ice over night.
I am deeply, deeply not looking forward to this, but I’m also seriously hoping for a slow melt-season, because this much snow turning to water all at once would spell flooded basements for just about everyone I know who has one.
So here we are.
 
Two weeks ago, I put away the Solstice decorations. Two weeks from now, it’ll be Spring Equinox. I’ve spent this past week essentially going to ‘Sexuality School” online and miraculously staying somewhat on top of my ten-minutes-a-day of exercise stuff, albeit by the skin of my teeth.
 
Ms Sugar wrote something the other day, and I find I’m relating to it a little. I’ll be forty before the year is out, and I feel like I’m “running out of time” to make changes that’ll stick. Some of those changes are the sex-related stuff I’ve been talking about over on Syrens. Some of them are more basic. Eat more vegetables. Become a better gardener. Stave off arthritis and help my body get stronger. Figure out how to parlay this university-funded casual-hours contract into a sustainable, long-term, but still casual-hours, income stream[1].
 
I feel like I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want when it comes to how I spend my time, energy, and attention.
 
~*~
 

Silicon Dawn Tarot – High Priestess – “[… The] High Priestess get things *done* because she is *connected* in a way that few of the others down in the Earthly half of the Majors are. […] The Priestess is busy consulting her Higher Self *right now*”.


 
I chose this card for my tarot meditation.
Maybe it’s an odd one to choose, or maybe I’m pulling it because I know I’ve got a little ritual planned for later today – one that I’m nervous about, but one that I hope has some effect – and I want as much help as I can get.
The High Priestess – The Seer, The Inner Voice – is the conduit between the word-using mind and the deep ocean space of everything else in you. The connection between conscious and unconscious. The union of opposites.
As I try to get back into doing regular glamour work again (again, again… even as I type this while wearing a fuzzy bathrobe and flip-flops), as I keep trying to put myself back together again, I think it’s relevant to think of the High Priestess, how she can be in and of two (or more) worlds at once while keeping everything connected.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Some yoga. A couple of long walks (commuting, basically). Some weights-work. Some dancing.
 
Attention: Root chakra stuff. Where I am, and am not, holding muscle tension. What feels good. What makes me nervous.
 
Gratitude: Afternoons spend with pals. Time for long baths. A new Toby Daye book to devour. Sunny days, even if they’re cold. Unearthed summer veggies filling my freezer. A writing date planned for the end of the week. Kisses from my wife. Catching-up chats with my girlfriend.
 
Inspiration: A lot of what I’ve been reading in Come As You Are and Ecstasy is Necessary and a lot of what I’ve been watching/hearing during the Explore More Summit.
 
Creation: A lot of personal essays. One ritual (that’s, admitted, still kind of being done on the fly). Plans to start turning all of the above-mentioned inspiration into poems (or at least drafts of poems) later this week.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I have some leads on this one, at least.

Full Moon – Ice Moon Crests

February 18th 2019 - Waxing Gibbous Moon against a Black Sky - My wife took this photo of the almost-full moon while visiting her girlfriend's cottage.

February 18th 2019 – Waxing Gibbous Moon against a Black Sky – My wife took this photo of the almost-full moon while visiting her girlfriend’s cottage.


 
Pisces season just started. The full moon shifts from Leo to Virgo tonight. I’ve been chewing on (not literally) the cards I drew at the new moon – the idea that I have a million options, if I just re-write the stories that I’m telling myself.
I’ve been reading Come As You Are to remind myself of how to build some detours around my worst ones, thinking of things I can do, ritually speaking, to help get unblocked. (I’m being kind of vague here, but I’m talking about sex-and-relationships stuff). It’s embarrassing how much of it is just how much of it is “What would reduce the stress in your life? Make that change”.
It’s singing the same tune as Liz Worth’s astrological advice, asking “What needs to get done today?” with an explicit eye to practical/physical things like “do the dishes” or “run errands”.
 
Today, I cleaned the stove, washed the pots and pans that had been languishing by the sink, and swept the floor.
Small things.
Things that I should have covered every single day, but rarely do.
I put away the Solstice decorations (finally – only 2 weeks later than planned).
I danced around the kitchen to a pop album (Fifth Harmony – yes, really) and did literal stair-climbing for all of five minutes. Which I realize isn’t “real cardio” but it’s more than I’d be doing otherwise, so I’m calling it a win.
A couple of things to make my house a nicer place to be hiding out inside of (because I so don’t want to go outside in winter, I just don’t) and a few things to make sure I’m moving my body in spite of that.
Tonight I’ll burn the last of the candle I lit on the 16th (my Dad’s death day – it’s been 19 years).
 
~*~
I used a Random Card Generator to pull three cards:
 
PAST - 5 of Pentacles - Wild Unknown Tarot - A wilted red rose against a black background

PAST – 5 of Pentacles – Wild Unknown Tarot – A wilted red rose against a black background


 
PRESENT - Seven of Cups - Wild Unknown Tarot - A card that can be read as night or day; snow-covered mountains or silhouetted crags; six full cups and one flipped over or six upturned cups and one still full; a crescent moon, or a bright sun to light the scene.

PRESENT – Seven of Cups – Wild Unknown Tarot – A card that can be read as night or day; snow-covered mountains or silhouetted crags; six full cups and one flipped over or six upturned cups and one still full; a crescent moon, or a bright sun to light the scene.


 
FUTURE - High Priestess - Wild Unknown Tarot - A Siberian tiger under a crescent moon, with a crystal orb before her.

FUTURE – High Priestess – Wild Unknown Tarot – A Siberian tiger under a crescent moon, with a crystal orb before her.


 
PAST: Feeling like an outsider. Scarcity thinking.
PRESENT: Overwhelm. Wishful thinking.
FUTURE: Intuition. Trust. Potential.
 
Well… One can only hope.
I know I’d like to leave my scarcity-thinking in the past, and that I’m feeling a certain amount of overwhelm these days (like, for the past couple of days, I’ve actually caught myself avoiding getting out of bed because I don’t want to go downstairs where it’s “noisy”).
Maybe I can leave a little bit more of my scarcity-thinking and overwhelm behind as this moon wains down again, and fill up that empty space with a little more trust in myself and in The Process.
 
~*~
 
Movement: I have actually been doing some! A little bit of weights or stairs or yoga (or all three, sometimes with added vocal warm-ups). That an a LOT of snow-shoveling. I’m a mix of embarrassed and concerned with how quickly I get out of breath when I’m doing something even slightly strenuous (like walking up hill). Ten minutes a day of barely-more-than-basic physical activity isn’t going to fix that. But it’ll get things to be better than they are now, which is something.
 
Attention: Have been looking into what stresses me out about my life (a number of things, some of-which I don’t have control over) and which of those things I can do something about. Looking, also, for cheep/free lit/music events in the neighbourhood that I can take myself out to.
 
Gratitude: I’m thankful for a long weekend had mostly to myself. Dates (plural!) with my girlfriend. My wife coming home from her girlfriend’s cottage so full of happiness (and knowing what she needs to do to give herself that happiness more often). Grapefruit all the way from Florida. Novels to re-read. Discount chocolate. A tea date with a friend set up for right around the next new moon. Ancestors I can talk to. Impending cuddles with said recently-returned wife. Grateful for people who love me. ❤
 
Inspiration: Come As You Are and the information there-in. Asking my girlfriend about some of her past ritual work. That big, gorgeous, super moon. Clear, bright days and puddles of sunshine that are warm through the window. Candle lit baths with colourful, heavily-scented bath bombs (the scent doesn’t cling to my skin, which is handy for leaving-the-house purposes). My friend/client’s first solo show about how life experiences (aging, trauma, dance/sport training, chronic illness/pain, pregnancy, and all sorts of other stuff) effect the body, and about bearing witness to those realities.
 
Creation: I have NOT been making a lot of things. Have spent most of my down time, these past two weeks, curled up in a blanket nest, drinking hot tea, and reading a bunch of books. Which is fantastic, but not particularly creative. Currently drawing up some prompts for a possible blog/brain project, so we’ll see what I come up with, essay-wise.