Nothing Normal Left?

The hard rain is falling here…

herlander-walking

When times are rough and tumultuous, perhaps without full acknowledgement, we underpin ourselves to bits of beauty and normalcy with a tighter tether than usual.  Since November, things have been especially tough.  Yes, yes, I can hear the gleeful howling of the maniacs – but mine is scarcely a new admission.  The schadenfreude of the Right is unmistakable of late.

But political upheaval and Agent-Orange-in-Charge aside?  Life has been a tumult anyway here.  So finding a personal balance has been a challenge.  There has not been much “typical rhythm” in our lives of late.  All my usual little daily rituals fell away in lack of time and energy.  All but one.

I’m not going to deeply discuss that “one” and what happened to it.  Let’s just say, that without my notice, “it” subtly became the linch pin that held me together in every essential way.  “It” was a wall against…

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Tuesday Tarot – Give Me A Moon?

Fingertips very sore today, typing will be minimal!  Yes, there are the final four Major cards – all neatly scanned together weeks ago.

However, since it is painful to type – you get to muse on your own about the final three until next week.  I will discuss only #18 The Moon!  

The moon is full today, so it seems appropriate to focus so singularly rather than skipping the Tuesday Tarot entirely as I first thought about doing.  Laura Perry takes this card in a direction I do not agree with at all.  Her entire definition is what I have long regarded as the proper interpretation of a reversed presentation.  Her operative phrase is “I deceive” and the Linear B tract says “Neither”.  She insists the card means illusion  and specifically self-deceit, seeing reflections and thinking it is reality.  As I said, for me, this IS the correct read for a reversed Moon.

To me, the Moon card always speaks of the tides of life and intuitive pullings.  It suggests being at a low point and seeking a way to rise.  It may suggest occult forces, secret enemies, the need for psychic protection and attention to dreams for a useful psychological clue.  It can suggest a flood tide of change — usually voluntary, but tumultuous all the same.

It is a potent card for me presently; lots of change in my life tides of late have me feeling rather wave wracked.  I am dreaming in significant “Get a clue and a BREAK” ways.  I intend to take the advice of dreams and this card and work some “me” time into my crazy life ASAP!

Magical Battle of America – The Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Last week, I did not work for this – not only were we overwhelmed with the final chapter of grief and loss for a friend – but I don’t feel a personal need to “clean America’s archetypes” much. The past IS as it is, I don’t need to white wash it to still defend the product OF that past — the NOW America I reside within.  If our archetypes are the results of the flawed actions of flawed humans?  Well, it is through failure and flaws that we learn; and then we move forward to put loss behind us.

This week’s task was summoning strong, cleansing winds of change.  I got my protective circle in place, looked around my Nor’west — spotted  the stream, visualized the fish leaping — because it was dark, I saw nothing.  I zipped to the dark Plains, and sat on the roof of my sod house, looking first up at the pentagram overhead.  No dripping sparkles of light this time, just a soft glow.  I looked to the East, a very faint golden-pink glow there, the dawn almost hitting the coastline.

I turned my back on the distant dawn and stood facing the dark West, though there should have been a nigh full moon.  Perhaps it set already, I did this quite late?  I shut my eyes, visual things are not my strength – having been nearly blind most of my life.  I listened, expecting to hear the banners flap and rope-fittings ringing; but no, scarce any sound in the still dark air.  I consider my energy and feel the almost unnatural stillness around me.  I decide I would rather get something partial done right than fail entirely.  I will call only for the West wind.

I lift my face and begin a summoning whistle.  For a moment, I am very much two places — lying relaxed with my cat purring at my shoulder, and standing there whistling and clearly hearing the high piping sound of my call.  I continue to whistle — once, twice, four times before I feel a motion in my own belly.  A swirling there, suddenly if barely perceptible.  Far away, I hear the slap and bluster of a blue banner…and a red one.  I scent dust in the air and feel my hair lift.

The grass moves against the bare sides of my feet.  I raise my right arm and pivot to the Northeast, directing the barely warm breeze growing in strength.  In my mind, I picture Washington, D.C – a place I have not visited since 1986 on a cold December day the week before Christmas.  But I paint it mentally with Spring’s colors and see cherry blossom pink.  The West wind rifles the trees, like children hitting chocolate filled Easter baskets — pink petals fly into the air.  They sweep in drifts along street curbs.

“Carry change,” I say, “carry courage and Will.”  I think of all the economically blighted places the wind passes and say, “Carry courage, give power and truth.”  I hear flag pole rings ringing against the metal and fabric snapping.  The glow of dawn is brighter, lighting up thin dancing waves of pink sweeping the streets before the Capitol.  “Relax,” I say to the wind, “Rest upon the sea and ride home round the world…”

My cat’s purr brought me back to my bed.  She moved closer to me as I opened my circle, and put her paw on my face.  And then to sleep, to dream, to hope, to dare…perhaps other nights for other winds?

Tuesday Tarot – Late Again!

The last three days has been intensity in motion. So again, I am late. Thus is life, it is merely peculiar in that my busyness has actually been semi-priestessy in nature instead of mere mundane hectic.

But I now will focus and calm myself continuing the viewing of Laura Perry’s Minoan Tarot!  Again, this week’s selection begins with a card I ADORE as an “instead” of the traditional representation of a Christian devil.  I love the Major Arcana card

#15 The Minotaur – the operative phrase assigned to this card is “I fear.” and the Linear B inscription reads “bindings/ties.”  What more poignant representation of captivity/enslavement/a state of being trapped than the Minotaur?  If the Major cards suggest things that come from outside ourselves, at least partially, or through poor choices that we DO participate in?  Well, the Minotaur – cursed from birth to terrify and horrify, so thus finding himself confined and confused and left to become a monster in his lonely rage and impotence – is there a better image.  It is not about evil; we need no Christian devil (that often demonized the image of older gods).  It is about the darker self, the denied self, the neglected self — the vampire times starved self that we all might lock away in shame.  It is about obsession, fear, addictions, compulsions – it is about material affairs denied spiritual outlet.  This card shouts of the need to embrace and rehabilitate the darkness within so it serves you as your inner ally.  Reversed, it warns you of projecting your darkness onto others and attacking THEM, instead of facing your own rejected self.

This card reminds me of the last three days.  Sunday we attended what was called a “celebration of life”; in other words, a funeral/memorial service.  For a tiny baby girl who had one normal month of life before she was battered and assaulted so viciously that the next two months were spent dying.  It was like being immersed in fire to sit through Disney montages and music amidst bright balloons and an insistence upon forced jollity.  Some bereft mourners fled to the parking lot to weep without breaking the rules of this celebration.  When did we become so ashamed to be justifiably angry and to mourn with understandable tears?  When did we become bound to a convention of pretending there is joy instead of deep sorrow?  Monday, here, we slept — exhausted with anger and grief for those forbidden to show their grief.   And today, we dressed and left to go escort a tiny white casket to the crematorium.  This was no celebration of joy and blessedly private.  There were muted tears, and hands clinging to each other.  This brief all but silent affair felt real and genuine – but it certainly was not public, but hidden.  Are we, as a culture, locking our most serious innermost moments away in a labyrinth with NO public exit?

#16 The Tower – has the phrase “I collapse.” and the inscription “Palace” and portrays  a Cretan palace overwhelmed by a tsunami such as destroyed at least one coast of Minoan Crete when the massive volcano on Thera exploded.  Perry attributes this card to upheaval, crisis, ego destruction and revelation.   She credits it to a “force majeur” beyond personal control.  It has links to the 10 of daggers and 5 of horns — cards I personally prefer to never see in a spread (and yet had both of those in one spread together this week).  What she doesn’t say in her book, is what some more traditional mythos attributions do — the “tower” in question is NOT the “house of god” or a palace, but the walls of hell, which Christ allegedly broke in his three days buried and vanished from this world.  In other worlds — this breaking is a necessary, a good breaking.  I think either definition suffices — because no matter how needful, it isn’t going to feel very good while it happens to you!  The reversal means you are clinging to something fallen, and the harder you resist the more you will lose in energy wasted holding up something that needed knocking down.

 

#17 The Star – I always like to see this card, but this image doesn’t much move me, I admit.  The phrase is “I hope” and the inscription is “everyone/thing” — light at the end of the tunnel is good thing, yes.  Inspiration and a change of heart is a good thing.  But I somewhat dislike it being equated to “hope” as that follows on the oft quoted word “faith” — which I have none of and want none of, either.  Hope can be a poison, keeping you from seeing just HOW dark something is, keeping you in a position of subservience that needs to be over.  The reverse, Perry insists, is clinging to fear and doubts.  I would suggest it means maybe the light at the end of some tunnels is a train.

 

Tuesday Tarot -Majors 12, 13, & 14

The Minoan Tarot images lure me from the everyday. Even in the currently busy and hectic days, I want to sit down and stare at them. I suspect this is because they contain potent “headology”.  My favorite witch is not one of the classics like vengeful Medea or the pig-making Circe.  My favorite witch is Diskworld’s Granny Weatherwax who says it isn’t about spells and sticking pins in things — it’s about “headology.”  To me, this speaks a real truth about magic and enchantment — the one we usually must enchant is ourself!  Or sometimes the need is to disenchant someone.  I think the images of the Minoan Tarot have the deeply woven clues and hints to do both!

I am pretty sure Major Arcana card #12 – Sacrifice – will upset somebody with the somewhat graphic image of an animal awaiting getting its throat cut.  The card usually called The Hanged Man seemed more upsetting to me because although it had connotations of making sacrifices for future good as well; it also had meanings related to betrayal and treachery – and of being left, somewhat literally “twisting in the wind.”  This card, like most of the ‘big 22’ is more existential with the phrase “I surrender” and the Linear B for “olive tree” – long a symbol of peaceful endings.  This card hits me hard personally; there are things I need to surrender right NOW, for instance.  There ARE patterns in my life that need to dissolve.  Reversed, it suggests that refusing to sacrifice what needs to be offered up for the future results in losing control of it all.

#13 – Death – is likewise unsubtle.  An open tomb instead of a skeletal figure, with the phrase “I transform” assigned, and Linear B for “divine” suggests that our deepest fears and the change we really cannot see the other side of are right there in the NOW where we must grasp till tiller of our lives (and very rarely, our actual physical demise).  Perry insists this card does NOT mean physical death.  I beg to differ with her; while it usually means the death of something, not us – that doesn’t mean it cannot.  Reversal indicates refusing transformation, holding on to something in need of release and increasing personal pain.  Drop the hot rock, Pal, and move on!

#14 – Balance – is a card I much prefer to the usual deck!   “Temperance” always had a bit of a preachy vibe to one raised on stories of Carrie Nation bashing in barrels of whisky or beer!  Besides, who could resist that lovely young man vaulting that beautiful bull — nobody dies, everything is handled!  It IS about balance and focus to achieve and maintain towards a goal; avoiding extremes IS key.  Reversed. the card warns against over focus on only one area – over specialization, perhaps?  Or being all take and no give?

And In The Never Bloody Mind Dept…

Ok, the blog is again public. Really, the readership was never high. I am not interesting enough, inspiring enough…and I am sick of narrowing it even more in the hopes of deeper conversations and meaningful connections.  Those clearly were never meant to be part of the online experience.

Perhaps not profane enough? Since this was my blog of the “deeper” me. The more “introspective me”? The less ranting and screaming me.  Apparently all anyone ever liked WAS my rants and screaming, swearing and flailing.

So be it.  This is still who I am when not going mad over the latest news splashes of mud and worse.

Nobody conversed in private any more (or less) than in public.  So fear of reprisals or harassment from Trumpeteers or radical Christian sorts apparently was not it.  I am merely too boring, too much a hermit, lacking flash or charm.

I am actually pretty good with all of that.  I may or may not post my continued efforts in the Magical Battle of America.  I’m not really the ‘ra ra, sis boom bah’ sort –I find as many things to be a grim realistic kick in the face as not in magical matters.  Thus, I still do mundane activist things.  Those are doubtless boring, too.  Meetings, phone calls, petitions, more phone calls, letters, contributions.  Boring grown up stuff.  I could rename the blog perhaps: Boring Grown Up Pagan Humanist Blog?  Honestly, I crack myself up.

 

Another Sunday After Action….

This weeks goal in the Magical Battle of America was to go to the astral center — seeing it as night-time — and more of less call a dawning. A dawning of sunny warmth, hope, cooperation, and recreation of America.  Glad Hekate is my ally with some lit torches is all I can say about that.

My first start was to pause at NW “home” to briefly consider leaping steelhead, heading upstream to breed and continue the thread of their lives.  Salmon spawn and die. We want magic and life, bread and roses, don’t we?  Then, I turned to “walk” to the Plains “center” as HecateDemeter envisions it — with a pentagram overhead and banners at each point connoting the different main regions of the continental USA.

I didn’t walk, though.  I turned and suddenly shot to center like an animated piece on a special effects chessboard…leaving a colored, fading shadow of myself where I had been mere instants before.  The blue-white horizontal pentagram over head dripped down lighted spangles like luminescent icicles.

I sat down on the roof of my sod house, shut my eyes and listened to the wind in the five banners; for me yellow at Nor’East, green at Southeast, red at Southwest, blue in Nor’west, and dazzling WHITE in the North – no black, no checkering, it felt white this time.  I sat waiting to feel a touch of dawning warmth.  Cracking an eyelid showed me only cascades falling from the five pointed star overhead — like sparks from a welder’s torch.  I could not glimpse or summon a dawning.

So I shut my eyes and thought, very hard, over and over:

Wouldn’t it feel good again to be truly, really proud to be an American?”

“Wouldn’t it feel good to wipe away the shame?”

“Wouldn’t love and caring and sharing feel delightful and warm and good?”

I felt a sudden sexual rush, a bit of warmth of unexpected source.  But one I know means something right is happening.  Maybe later efforts this week will see a dawn yet?

 

A Bit of Bitchery, Not Witchery

Ok, since I thought perhaps shyness, fear, trepidation was the reason for so little conversation, I made this blog private by invitation only.

Still no conversation. So hey, be honest — if nobody but my grouchy old self is going to talk, just say so and it will be public again faster than the small stupid dog wolves down his food.

Because I frankly don’t give a damn, nor a rats ass, whether anyone dislikes what I am saying!

Pick-a-Witch?!

I know there are other spell workers out there — I know about the “binding” spell and frankly, IF it works that is dandy with me. I’m just iffy about bindings if I am not more personally linked with the situation.  If anyone conceives the Magical Battle of America as more effective done BY binding the “deflated orange sponge” – so be it!

But I did find these “inspirations” very humorous!  Enjoy!

I was always tickled by the MacBeth witches — every time we brew mead here, they come to mind.  All that “cauldron brew and cauldron bubble” stuff, you know?  A carboy full of mead is full of roiling wee yeasty beasty bubbles — you can hear their pop and fizz!  I have been contemplating starting a batch with the command that these tiny living things, with each pop and fizzle – move a magical agenda forward; a sort of alcoholic prayer wheel effect, so to speak?!

Tomorrow there will be a new post up at HecateDemeter for the continued effort.  I am feeling an increased “vibe” so to speak; the working feels easier with repetition.  Since I am not the most “visually” inclined person, most of my cues to being “there” are still auditory — wind whipping “banners” (which for me are element shaded, with no pictures), splash sounds, human whispers, etc.

How is it for you?  I must say, as a solitary sort, I don’t much know how it goes in a coven.  But I’m pretty sure it isn’t as silent as this “virtual room”!