Wednesday Woo – and Tarot Bonus

Some years back, after President Obama’s second election victory, but after it became clear that a terrible racial and political backlash was threatening all progress, I engaged in something risky and foolish.  I tried to launch something akin to what Adept Dion Fortune did in Britain in WWII– launch a sort of magical counter-movement.  I got no takers and much criticism for the very “presumptuous” idea.  Nonetheless, I (in this case unwisely) persisted.  First, I experimented with astral travel to explore the “temple” built by Fortune’s group of occult workers.  I found enough with my sparse energy and skills to convince me it did exist, that it was real.

Why was I wrong?  Because at the same time in my life, I was challenged with a foundering marriage and PTSD issues of the mate AND my own.  I was at the low point of my adult life and I still wanted to play white magical knight?  Yes, yes, I can be a totally moronic idealist at times.   I learned much.  My efforts were not so much a failure as inadequate to the need; after about four months, I fell ill.  I sporadically kept up the effort for another year, and then; due to other physical issues not related to my energy work, I got REALLY ill.  I quit and put aside the book in which I kept track of my efforts.  It really was a sort of a Don Quixote mode, and I should never have taken it on all solo.

fullsizerenderToday, I got that book out again and wrote out notes on a tarot spread done to determine the needs of a new effort.  At last, not feeling completely alone and also in good health – mental, emotional, and physical – the Magical Battle for America is to be joined.  I am not sure quite how this will be done yet, but I have chosen to go with this, secrets in the open perhaps for those with the ability to read?  I began with a tarot spread to determine my needs in my effort to join with other practitioners to mount a magical resistance to preserve America from a crowd of venal, greedy, racist, misogynistic, religiously biased, spiritually constipated AMATEURS who are the current Administration.

I used my new Minoan Tarot deck and a Tree of Life spread.  It told me much I needed to know, but did not tell me to not try it.  Briefly, below, my read of the cards — not entirely analyzing all the linkages here, but hitting the high points of the new government Administration setting off my mental alarms, demanding I take action on every front:

#1 The Query’s Reason – (why I am asking).  Youth of Labryses, reversed. A card signifying lies for approval and as foundation, telling me of an amateur who lies to gain place and power – I think this card represents Steve Bannon.  The “fool” line connects to

#2 -Forces at Work – the Major Arcana16, the Tower also reversed, signifying a holding on to that which is already hopelessly fallen – in this case, old white guys demanding the past “good old days” be revived for their profit and comfort, regardless of the cost to the rest of the world. The “empress” line (female political power)crosses to

#3 Deeper Query – the Youth of Horns – and here is the President, not young, obviously — but a youth in experience of government, another amateur; this one financially motivated and inexperienced and connected to the card connoting Bannon by the “magician” line — signaling in this case an unhealthy “follower” relationship to the “idea man” Bannon.

#4 Projected development – the Maid of Rhytons – since this reading is to show me where I want to go, this card talks for first time of how to get there.  It suggests I must be guided my my own oft-mistrusted intuition and empathy, using my own inner voice as guide.  The “strength” line connects to card

#5 -Energy of Querent (me) – Major Arcana 9 Labyrinth (Hermit) – reinforces command to go within and mayhap USE my own Labyrinth in my efforts.  So, even as one of a group, I suspect I may be rather solitary?

#6 Saving Grace – Ace of Labryses – a new beginning needs logical rational work, and a willingness to examine and shake up not only ideas, but ideals in my tasking.  The “death” line of transformation connects to card

#7 Relationships encountered – Seven of Rhytons – suggesting I reward of emotional drive and operative pipe dreams, not only in others I suspect, but in myself.  The “Tower” line crosses to the next card, with a hint of knocking down those emotive drives for a colder rationality.

#8 Feelings of Querent – Lord of Labryses – telling me I feel deciding and active, my opinions here have knowledge to back them up; so I am not all fluffy bits of dream.

#9 Thoughts of Querent – Ten of Horns – an admission of my need to count on a sturdy physical base of operations, financial security and a home to operate from safely, securely.

#10 Physical Manifestation – Major Arcana #5 The Adept – (The Lady) I will seek knowledge – arcane/occult at need to re-create balance and harmony that seems to be draining out of America right now.  I must become adept….

#11 Secret Knowledge Needed – Major Arcana 13 Death – Ok, I admit it, I took a deep breath seeing this card as the secret.  Some, yes, would read it as a direct warning that I could be risking my life.  But I’ve see the Death card in so many layouts in my life and I am still here!  It really IS the card of transformation — I am seeing this working to EFFECT transformation; one should expect personal transformation in the process.  BE the change you wish to see in the world!

So, onward, braced and informed of what I need to pay attention to as I go forward…here we go.

 

A question for others?  Do you, if you do energy/magic work, do tarot before a working to get a forecast of how your planned action will go?

 

 

Tuesday Tarot

minoan-tarot-ma-backplateI have been excitedly awaiting the Minoan Tarot. I studied the book, which I often do not do, to be honest. Because this deck uses images from a pre-Christian period of history, I thought it was my best bet of getting a deck without the whole original sin/judgement day mentality of many traditional decks.  I was not wrong and this delights me!

However, as I mentioned last week, this deck has some different court cards — and the precise import of those cards also made me study the book Laura Perry includes with her tarot deck.  Most decks have face cards titled something like knight, princess, queen, king – four face cards per suite.  This deck has youths/maids, lords/ladies, and priest/priestess – six face cards per suite.  I find the youth/maid cards much like the more usual knight/prince/princess cards and those are more or less acceptable.

The real issue is her “defining” phrase – something she assigns to every card.  Perry goes to a lot of work explaining what an egalitarian culture Minoan Crete was in history — one of the things that has always appealed to me.  But with the court cards, her chosen phrases raised my hackles and the final pair?  The priest/priestess set really just jangled my nerves enough that for now I removed them from the deck completely.  So let’s get that roadblock out of the way at once, before going over the deck as I usually do — from Major to Minor Arcana portions.

There are slightly different images and I am at peace with the four suites  as Perry represents them.  Daggers equate to swords, but interestingly, are assigned to the element Fire, which has long been my personal instinctive preference. This is at variance with most tarot attributions.  Rhytons are Watery/emotional cups, Labryses are not Fire, but Airy/mental wands, and the Horns are Earthy Discs/Pentacles.  I like the color assignments as well – it gives a nice immediate image in the layout of what is most prominent.

minoan-tarot-court-priestsHere are the priests.  I like Perry’s use of color.  Male figures are rather more darkly complected than female figures – useful in images where both might have long hair and robes!  The little almost pictogram like figures printed on each picture are Linear B – the written language that archeologists DID manage to decipher.  (It is not, as first assumed, a real language of Minoan Crete – but an adaptation later by the Mycenaean Greeks, unlike the apparently unbreakable Linear A in the lost language of Crete.). Each card has one of these inscriptions meant to be significant to the card.  Some of these get very awkward, indeed – but that is a minor quibble.  The priest of Daggers, for instance, has a word meaning “leader” – but she doesn’t tell what it is, exactly, for it is a title, not a mere description.  But that does bring me to the deal-breaking quibble.  Each set of four cards has a descriptive phrase, you see?  The one for the priests is “I lead.”

minoan-tarot-court-priestess

Here are the priestess cards.    So, what would you think this most prominent female imaged court card might represent?  What might the important operative phrase be?

I embody.”

Mind you, the other court cards had this, to me, disturbing dichotomy for an allegedly egalitarian cultural milieu, too.  Maids merely “consider”, while Youths “explore.  The Lord “reacts, but the Lady “emotes.” (Emotes?  For fucks sake, emotes?!)  Perry does say a “Lady” can represent a male — one that emotes, apparently?  But the whole division of labor/effect bothers me.  The feminine faced cards of the court all seem relegated to passive roles.  Maybe with time, I will get over this quibble.  Maybe not.

But thus far, this is the only thing that gives me pause.  It seems rather grating to have masculine and feminine roles defined so narrowly.  Gender reinforcement is not what I expected of the alleged egalitarianism of Minoan civilization!  I greatly liked everything else about this deck as I went through it.  I may just decide to ignore her choice of phrasing.  Time will tell.

Tarot Teaser

minoan-tarot-ma-backplateNope, it is not yet Tuesday. But since I’ve scanned in my newest deck, I wanted to post a mini-teaser for the same.  My newest deck is the long awaited Minoan Tarot by Laura Perry.  Since I’ve long been a fan of Minoan Crete’s history, I was oh-so-ready for this deck!

And it may become my favorite and last deck once I get the bad taste of a couple minor quibbles out of my mouth. That will be the topic of Tarot Tuesday — those quibbles.

Today, I simply wanted to show you the backplate of the deck.  Very elegant and simple, right?  The stylized horns and the labrys.  One thing I like about this design is that you can’t tell which side is up and which is down (reversed).  Another deck I enjoy has this flaw – the backplate image, although attractive, has a clear up or down apparent. So, if I allowed a reader to select cards from the fanned out deck, the querent could easily avoid choosing reversed cards.

This deck very nicely avoided that issue!  While I rarely do cards in that way, I do offer the few I read for the option of selecting their own cards or the choice of me shuffling and dealing like a hand of poker!   Most people prefer to let me deal their presumed “destiny” – which strikes me odd.

Onward, tomorrow!  I must say, I feel a bit like nobody is interested at all — stats for the last tarot post said only 4 views happened.  Perhaps it is the odd way WP counts them making me feel invisible?  In any case, I would really appreciate comments and conversation about use of cards for either psychological inner work or divination.  I’d like to get the opinions of others on the cards I will show in the weeks ahead.  So please don’t be shy.

Tuesday Tarot – From Silly to Sublime

dragon-tarotI am NOT a collector of tarot cards. That said, I admit I have eight decks.  They range from curiosities that are rather silly, like a deck with dragons on every card.  I wish I had not somehow lost the wee booklet that came with this, it detailed where each mythical beast came from in culture/history!  I’ve never read a single spread with this tiny deck of brilliantly colored cards.  The reason is, I rarely use tarot for divinatory purposes.  I use it to get a psychological compass “fix” on where I am in my own head.  These images are not evocative of anything so personal.

walker-tarotNo, for the old unsubtle head-slap of self-awareness, I rely on more obvious images.  My oldest deck of cards is the “Barbara Walker Tarot.”  I don’t care for her revisionist history, although her knitting books were quite good.  Her cards, are for me more like the knitting books — direct and unmistakably punch-to-gut effective.  I admit, I use them less frequently these days – only when so emotionally roiled that nothing except a direct zap would get through my drama!  To this day, these are the cards I read most instinctively.  They are full of mythological characters and dire images.

cirqueThe prettiest deck I still own is the Gateway to the Divine Tarot.  I call it my “Cirque de Soleil” deck!  The “Hanging Man” looks like he is silk dancing.  The face cards are mostly stultifyingly boring.  The 15th Trump, commonly called the Devil, is SO mouthwateringly handsome that he would tempt anyone!  Apt, I suppose, for a card signifying addictions and compulsions!  The King of Wands looks like Elrond.  This is a nice “public” deck for people ooky-spookied out by tarot readings because it IS beguilingly beautiful.  For me, while it can be evocative, my mind makes a needle screeching on record (sorry, whippersnappers, if you don’t know what that is!) sound when I hit cards like “Judgement” with obvious  angels of Christian derivation.  (But I promise you, the “Devil” in this card is very much the son of morning, not Old Scratch!). Still, since most of the “public” one might conceivably read for likely IS nominally Christian — that would not bother them.  Thus, I keep this artful deck for parties and the public.

A word about that mental screech, ok?  Yes, I know the cards were developed in the Middle Ages when Europe WAS Christian, and likely as a sort of portable paper “Mystery Play” about how fallen man could resume a heaven-bound existence….there IS that theory.  For MY purposes, however?  That means diddly to me.  So I have tried numerous decks seeking to find one not so monotheistically inclined.  Even one purporting to be a  “Pagan 2000” deck failed utterly, with a very scary Devil and bodies rising from graves on Judgement.  I cut the prettier cards of that deck up to use in crafting projects!  

steampunkOne of my longtime favorite decks is Barbara Moore’s “Steampunk Tarot” – other decks of hers have left me cold in the over-artsy approach; but these are amusing.  They are also astonishingly non-sexist to look at; female trumps and face cards have a beautiful efficacy to their appearance.  The only Christian bit IS Judgement with a metal-winged angel.  The Devil is a horrific looking war machine, which certainly is a valid comment on modern life and death and addiction!  I always enjoy reading this deck.  Some of the cards are astonishingly lovely – like the Moon (upper right hand of photo) and black-winged Death with her Scythe!

vicsteamNow, a recently (last year) acquired novelty deck that is curiously neutral and takes a bit of getting used to is the Victorian Steampunk Tarot.  As you can see, the four Minor Arcana suites are using insects to represent the elemental values: Dragonflies for watery Cups, Moths for fiery Wands, Bees for airy Swords, and Beetles for earthy Coins.  The Major Arcana are more traditional with some pretty steampunk additions; Death is Poe-ish with a raven and skull with a ruby eye, the Hanged Man is a upside-down moon-faced clock pendulum.  The most overt Christian bit IS the Judgement card with a stone angel.  But over all, it is a nice novelty deck that would also be a great party deck — interesting, but not terrifying.  I do use it now and then, but admit to still stumbling over wanting to make Bees into FIRE, not Air because of those stingers I encountered SO often as a beekeeper!

prophecyAnother deck I got very recently, and that I’ve guiltily ignored in hectic life ever since, is the “Illuminating the Prophecy” deck.  It is possibly the most artistic deck I own, beautifully evocative and frankly pagan.  The Judgment card is a fallen crown, the Devil is a leering malevolent mask.  The Cups are represented, oddly, by corvid birds, which I frankly would have assigned to something Air-ish!  But crows and ravens ARE emotional creatures rather like us, so I get the attribution. Coins are plant based — mostly roses, so since I adore roses, that is a sweet softening of Coins for me.  Airy Swords mostly feature images of human HANDS; how is that for owning responsibility for our mental actions?  She gives Wands to Fire, not only in elemental attribution, but in much of the imagery.    No suite imagery is absolute, however — you go reading along and there, suddenly is a traditional Cup, or Sword — or marvelous things like the head of a ten point buck deer sporting lights for the ten of Wands!  This is one of the decks I must work with this year; it is beyond the beauty of the Cirque deck and is a very feeling deck.  This is one of the sublime examples, for me!

soulI also have a deck that is not tarot at all.  It is the Soul Cards (I) deck.  Mine was a sample deck being sold off cheaply and is missing one card.  I don’t care.  I use these rarely and I usually don’t do a tarot style spread.  These, for me, are to be read only by the evocative images — I most often select three cards and meditate upon them for quite some time.   I consider these my most therapeutic deck of cards.  Even just holding the deck and looking through it brings you to focus upon how you feel, where your reactions are coming from, and such.  The same card might get a different reaction on different days – and this in itself is revealing, don’t you think?

boxes-of-secretsBut finally?  I DID say I had just gotten what would likely be my last* tarot deck, didn’t I?  That deck is ensconced in the lovely round lidded chest carved with a tree.  That box was my first Yule gift in 15 years from my youngest son, upon his return home in 2014.  It has sat empty since then awaiting the new deck with EIGHT extra cards ever since!  Yes, at long last, The Minoan Tarot Deck (by Laura Perry) is here!  I am studying the book by its designer and finding it, since images are based on a long pre-Christian society in Minoan Crete, FREE of Christian images.

My only gripe thus far is that young male face cards are labeled with things like “I explore” and “I react” and female face cards do things like “I consider” and “I EMOTE” — for pity’s sake?!  Hmmmm?  But I think I am going to like it more than dislike it.  I like that most of the images are from actual historical art.  “What,” you say, “no pictures of the cards?”  Nope.  Not yet.  (Oh, fine – a sneak peak.) I will do this deck in detail beginning next Tuesday.    Then I have the Steampunk Victorian and the Illuminating the Prophecy decks to detail.

What a relief – at least one day of the week to read cards NOT news – to go inward and not outward!  Such a GIFT!  Oh, and that other box with the big “X” carven upon it?  That is where the Soul Cards live, because they ARE a gift of a sort — very hard to find these days and very evocative and clarifying!

*Unless I also wind up with THIS Minoan Tarot.  But that would mean some other deck would have to vacate it’s carved wooden box!  And looking at this deck feels like something “pumped out” — not something meticulously researched and thought through.

Coming Back Soon – Tuesday Tarot

On earlier blogs, I did a Tuesday Tarot post, discussing decks I’d tried and rejected.  Like the deck that had the nifty “eye” back-side, for instance.

I own several decks and just got one as a Valentine’s Day gift (early) that may be the final deck.  It may become the only deck I use for personal readings, it has been long awaited (almost 3 years)!

I am still studying it and will have to scan in the images to use.  But within the month, I will begin discussing my new treasure.

Until then?  Enjoy what others say about tarot — what poets say about it and how it helps them, opening their eyes!

I almost never use my decks for divination; it is more like a psychological “thermometer” for me.

Tuesday, I will discuss the decks I already have, why I have kept them –and which ones may be gifted away at last.

Maybe after that, I will be ready to share what may be, for me, the PERFECT deck! Finding the right cards, for me, is as hard as finding the right counselor!

 

Remnants and Resistance Round My Neck – From Bowling Green to Reality?

Being a humanistic pagan who wonders (as she wanders) whether what is commonly called magic is not a lost art/ability of human kind, I do engage in experimentation. Perhaps it is mere wishfulness? Perhaps it really sets something in motion in the real world?  It is certainly more honest and thoughtful than most of what I see coming out of T-45’s White House.  He thinks mere saying something makes it so; I am nowhere near so naive as that.

As alchemy grew into modern chemistry, I wonder if certain forms of magic didn’t somehow miss a cue to grow into something?  So I “play” from time to time, sometimes getting completely un-repeatable results (of course!) and other times not being sure of any result.  Unlike those pagans so sure magic is potent enough that I should NEVER do what I am uncertain of for fear of releasing something Chulthulu-like into the world, I do not believe I have anything to lose OR fear by my attempts.

corvettineSo when something synchronistic happens?  I feel the need to experiment.  Yesterday, my Minotaur husband gave me an early 40th Anniversary gift, since I gave him his gift early, too.  Mine was a pretty pendant made of what is called “Detroit Agate” or “Fordite” — it is the multi-hued hardened enamel paint prised off automotive paint lines.  Mine came from a Corvette* line in Bowling Green, Kentucky!  BINGO! (*Since I am not a huge Ford fan, I prefer to say my pendant is made of Corvettine!)

But looking at it, I knew it needed a chain to wear it round my neck and resolved to make one.  When I make jewelry, it often has a ritual or magical significance; I find pretty things used often a marvelous focal point for “things I want changed”!  The moon is waxing at the moment and the ground outside is covered in a layer of thick pure white snow — such a mental canvas to imagine upon, eh?  I am a physical sort, merely lighting candles with intention never feels enough to me.

I went to my altar and took five little bi-cone bead bracelets down.  They were in colors emblematic of the four archetypal elements: green (Earth- material powers), blue (Water- emotive powers), red (Fire-intention, passion), yellow (Air- thought and clarity) and a final nigh colorless bead for that elusive “fifth” called “aether” or “will” or “spirit”.  As I wired each bead, I absolutely fumed with magical intention based on the quality symbolized by the color.  With green beads, I invoked finances drying UP to hateful groups and individuals, or the very Earth itself defending itself.  Blue beads made me call out for empathy to impress itself upon hardened, hate-filled, fear-flogged minds.  Seeing red, well, that one is rather obvious and easy, no?  Yellow beads made me want clarity and REAL facts to take priority and acceptance.  The colorless fifth, well, I sometimes free-floated there, letting my longing for justice and fairness simply play the “song of my people”.  My people being progressives who don’t want to be fear-flogged into stupid hostility, of course.  My wire choice was silver coated, because YES, I do want the future to be female!  Then, a strand of thin leather, because I DO want to bind my Will to this reality in need of changing.  Over and over…I wired the beads together, speaking of purpose and hope, anger and despair; it was like a meditation that poked fingers and stabbed under fingernails and I mindfully put it ALL into my working.

On the clear beads, the “fifth” that unifies the other four?  My mind wandered to DNA, the map of life; and guanineadeninethymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA.  My mind would like to think that equates in some symbolic way to the four elements (hey, I SAID I was wishfully thinking!)  Would guanine be Earth – first isolated from batshit?  Would adenine be Air – since meteorites might have brought it from space/sky and since it has to do with cellular respiration?  Of course, such talk is just an impossible analogy; a would-sure-be-nice metaphor trying to birth itself!  Four elements, four constituents of the map of life?  And so it goes, I completed my Resistance Remnant necklace and hung it round my neck.  With every perception of it there?  I think on how to propagate truth instead of propaganda; facts instead of fear.  I make red-minded phone calls.  I write emotive blue letters.  I keep saying “NO” in capital letters.

I keep my mind together and on the ramparts in the wild waves of an America where too many think “resistance” means saying no to humanist behaviors — like NOT hating people not your skin color, like NOT thinking women are walking wombs instead of full human beings.  In times like this, I muse bitterly; that might be magic enough — since some of my allegedly progressive friends have already stated their intention to “put my head down and wait it out” instead of mounting any resistance, magical or otherwise.  I voted for Hillary, and I stand with Hannah.  Did I mention that the rune of this house is H for hagalaz, because we are always up for the fight, and find the “hard way” is usually our only way?

It would be magic, if America, over all could come to that realization right now!

And No Fucks Were Given

I feel like a smaller blogger than usual today. I know I’ve been sick for just over a month, and finally think I will NOT be added to my state’s fatality rolls from the flu, but geez, surely fever and all that cannot be responsible for such low stats?

It is a very unusually quiet Saturday morning here.  Even the cat offers me nothing to work up a “Caturday”post — she is passed out sleeping on the footstool.  The Minotaur is at his veterans group, the sons are at work — no guitar riffs or emailed photoshop work emanating from the building they use for such things.

It has been hard to blog for the last few months.  Not that there isn’t a surfeit of things to bitch bitterly about, but so many other bloggers beat me to that and do a more articulate job.  No, it is more a case of Will failing to wake up from the nightmare that makes the news these days.  I remind myself that taking that attitude to heart will be what makes America buckle under the load of bulimia inducing Orange-“aides” from the White House.  Even over at Herlander, my more political rave and rant blog, I struggle.  I get few comments, few “likes”.  I get some comments I DON’T  allow to post.  Fuck those Trumpeteer guys anyhow, ok?  Likely they are the same yahoos signing my email up for all sorts of instantly junk-filed right-wing newsletters?

But here?  Where I explore touchy-feely me?  Where I contemplate whether or not belief and attempting to change reality to accord with my Will is anything real?  There have been a few outright calls in the pagan-sphere for action, and I SO agree; what have we to lose, really, by smiting and hexing at will.  If it works, yay – go team and if it doesn’t; well, the Kantian in me sneers at Nietzsche and says “Intent counts, you fucker!”  The Nietzschean in me  is doing a RA RA pom pom shake for Will to Power, specially the power to topple hypocrites.

I wrote letters today.  How 20th century of me, or maybe 19th since I used a fountain pen for half of them.  I wonder if my lack of comments or likes online is because I just frankly suck as a blogger, or if people are too afraid, too paranoid to put themselves out there even in such a small way?  Thus, letters to some folks I really care about.  It really is hard to tell; I actually prefer to think I suck than to think people are SO afraid that every comment is noted and passed on to would-be Gestapo sorts.  Because if there is THAT much paralyzing fear in my country?  Well, we have already lost then.  When did we become such wussy sorts?  Do we actually think he can lock up or disappear ALL of us?  Those of us who hate his Administration are actually the majority.

I’ve called or written my Senators almost every day of the last two weeks.  I’ve noted softening in the news about fighting appointments made by our Fearless Feckless Leader who is already ON vacation before a month is done.  I tell you, with the way he has his family spread out and what with tying up traffic and security in several states at once?  They should sell stock in the costs of Secret Service!

Laundry and garden planning, meal cooking, walking till the coughing stops me.  Life goes on, both after possible enlightenments AND after apocalyptic elections.

No Weddings, But a Funeral and A Rollercoaster

img_0081I hate rollercoasters. Let’s just get that down officially, shall we? It has been a rollercoaster week for me.

It began Monday, when one of the bigger triggers of my very-Cold-War-get-under-your-desk-kiss-your-ass-goodbye childhood was hammered by a news story where a restaurant owner ordered a “nigger” out of his place.  And yes, I AM going to by gods use THAT word just so you all can be reminded just how UGLY it is.    Yes, I grew up partially in the segregated South and that word was heard constantly.  Even in schools and (gasp!) churches.  I walked away from the news item reeling, holding back tears only half successfully.  I literally curled up in my bed in a pile of pillows and shut off the lights.

Tuesday was “date day” for the Minotaur and me.   We will see our 40th anniversary of marriage this month — and it has been “interesting” in the Chinese curse sort of way since we both suffer PTSD.  Mine is of standing clear to my childhood — he has it from a similarly abusive childhood AND the Viet Nam War.  So, pretty much one or the other of us is triggered at almost any given moment of difficulty.  The Minotaur, finally, after more than a year in VA counseling and marital counseling, IS in a better place.  Apparently, this cued MY little inwardly bleeding self to think it would be alright to cut loose and fall apart?

Because Tuesday, still tender from re-confronting memories of three months *of 5th grade hell in Louisiana — where the teacher opened each day crying “All you children who hate niggers raise your hands!” — I fell apart.  We were in the car, and the Minotaur was on auto-pilot “find a freeway” mode.  I hate our freeways; people drive Mad-Max-ish on them here.  So, I wigged out and we had a huge fight and no date time happened.  I beat myself up the rest of the night, barely sleeping and writhing in self-loathing for my personal failures.

*Only 3 months because I dropped out of school then.

Wednesday I put it on hold, choke-chaining myself into duty of re-stocking the cupboards before the other household residents got restless.  But, ah, Thursday — oh woe.  Thursday we went to the funeral of the 23 year old daughter of a guy from the Minotaur’s veterans’ group.

First off?  I am pretty sure the “Christian” god IS dead.  The funeral put me in a Baptist Church for over two hours and the very things I thought as the service droned on and on SHOULD have brought lightening down IF there was a god there, ok?  Yes, I know, harsh and melodramatic.

But rollercoasters bring out the melodrama in me, deal with it.

First, the “viewing”.  Oh my gods and goblins — she was SO young.  At 23, I got married.  She had just given birth to a pair of tiny twins.  Motherless twins, now.  It was shocking looking at that pretty young dead face.  There were Bible readings, the usual “green pastures” bits.  I told myself if it comforted the family, it was ok.  But of course, it was NOT ok.

Then the family members spoke with tear-stained faces of how much she meant to them, how she brightened every room and helped everyone she met.  Now THAT was brutal and grief-soaked.  Then there was a song about “holding the hand of God and keeping the mind on things eternal” and I began to risk a lightening strike.  Because for me, a humanist pagan?  This is NOT helpful or comforting at all — this is “shove that grief and anger in a bottle and be good little Good Book slaves!”  What about NOT thinking of the eternal and about questioning why the hell a 23 year old is DEAD? What failed that this young mother is DEAD?!

Then the youngish minister spoke.  He was incredibly proficient in trite platitudes about how time heals, god doesn’t give more than you can handle (apparently “god” thinks this family is a bunch of badasses?), etc.  He KEPT saying he was “almost done” and yet kept talking.  He explained that in times of grief and pain, it felt “as if God doesn’t make sense.”  Then he got downright revolutionary and daring and said, flat out: “God doesn’t always make sense to us.”  Of course, he went on to explain that was what “faith” was for — to help us through those things we cannot understand.  That’s when “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder began playing in my head at about 110 decibels.

The tear-soaked tissue in my hand was balled into a rock-hard ball by now.  I was SO hurt for the family in front of me suppressing sobs.  THIS is all their “faith” had to offer them?  Platitudes?  Hollow phrases about just getting through it?  Hel’s bells, I TOLD them that a couple days after we got the news: “When you are going through hell, KEEP going.”  The minister told them their tears should “endure through the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  What IS that — a Christian order to “shake it off” that a beautiful, smart, loving woman doesn’t deserve more mourning than that because god says so?!  What about WHY she is dead, what societal failure – aided by religious opiates of “stop bawling and move on back to work, etc” – made it so unremarkable that she IS dead?

So yes, here is Friday.  I feel like a beehive has been tucked into my ribcage.  If “God” is the answer, I think we are asking the wrong fucking question.  But I’m just a “godless heathen” — so surely my opinion is to be discounted if not ignored entirely.

 

Straws and Camels’ Backs

Sometimes “fuck it” IS a great notion.

herlander-walking

88389076-1f10-4dba-9503-b21111e74cd7_363_293Sometimes it is just a small thing, and the air is sucked out of a room. Of course, “small” is a relative term. It has come to a point in America that something utterly egregious is “small” because nobody died, never mind that something certainly DID die.

Reading the news this morning, I had to set my coffee cup down quickly.  So I wouldn’t vomit if I tried to drink more of it.  So I wouldn’t hurl the cup across the room in despairing fury.  The article in question?  It names the victim of a racist event.  It does not name the perpetrator, and it SHOULD. A white owner of Annville, Pennsylvania’s restaurant “Just Wing It” threw a college basketball team member out of his eatery for being black.

Trump’s president now so I can say what I want. You niggers need to get out,

Nope, not…

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