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.”


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.

A Tale of Two Dreams, Horror and Warning….(trigger warning)

2016-11-19-0001I dream vividly, in great detail and full color. Thus, when I have the very rare nightmare; these, too, are not sparing in detail. I’ve been sick for over three weeks and that makes my dreams even more wild it seems. I had a real doozy last night, the kind of thing you wake from, in a sickening sweat and shaking.

A President sits in the White House – a proven liar, a sexist, a sexual predator, a misogynist, a con man, a cheat, and possibly a traitor in debt to Russians.  This and being sick is not a great combination.  No wonder I had a horrid dream, I told myself, arms around my own knees at 0400 this morning.  But the revulsion still has me feeling nausea – I regret my breakfast attempts.

So, I must put it down on paper, I must pull it out of my head and see it on black and white.  If you are reading it, I found the courage to hit “publish”!  If you are a sexual abuse victim, I warn you not to read further. I am NOT being silly or politically correct — this dream shook ME.

In my dream, I had company – a friend I almost never see as she lives far away.  She had come to visit and brought a woman friend of hers to meet me.  We were having coffee when the doorbell rang.  At the door was an incredible sight, which was rolled into my family room.  The man pushing this wheeled contraption unfurled a paper scroll like some prop from an old “tyrant king” flick — something John of England would have read aloud by minions just before peasants got abused.  He read this absurd looking scroll to us.

It announced that the government had a new crime prevention strategy, since public executions had not drawn the crowds expected.  They wanted ordinary citizens – men and women – to SEE the punishments of crime, so as to properly understand deterrence.  Now, I must describe the horrible thing he rolled into my home.

It had a flat bed atop six or eight wheels.  On it was a nude woman, on her hands and knees – as if she was getting ready to do a yoga pose like “the cat”.  But her knees were strapped in place in a very wide stance, as were her ankles.  Around her waist was another large band tying her to a horizontal cross bar above her back. She could drop her elbows and sag forward, for instance, but her body was more or less locked in the sexual position called “doggy style”.  Behind her was a kneeling pad, as if she was the most obscene prie-dieu ever devised.

The man, rolling up his scroll, announced that he wanted to park this somewhere where all three of us could sit in a row where we could see him and he could see us.  This monstrous thing was too large to turn into my living room, he pushed it through into the den, where a platform bed is a nook in the wall and ordered us to sit on the bed.  He was armed, so we obeyed – dead silent and utterly shocked.

This woman, he told us, was arrested for prostitution.  She needed to be taught better ways and the government was merciful once she had learned, he said.  After all, he said in a confiding, oily sort of voice – he himself had done time for rape, but now was forgiven and given a place in “law enforcement.”  He locked a break on the wheeled hellish “prie-dieu” made of a bound woman’s body and stepped onto it.  “If she wants to fuck outside of proper marriage, she will now BE fucked!” he announced, suddenly undoing his belt and zipper and dropping his pants.  (And his gun belt, as it happens.)  He dropped to his knees and began raping the woman in front of us.  She sagged in her bindings, weeping.

I felt a terrible paralysis.  My friend put her arm around her younger friend, who was whimpering.  I tried to reach for her hand and found I could not move.  I could feel tears on my face, my teeth were clenched and I could taste blood and then my fingers suddenly unfroze and I clenched my friend’s hand briefly.  I couldn’t bear this.   I drew my knees up to my chest, which made the law enforcement rapist turn his head sharply to look at me.  I put my arms round my knees and put my head atop them — this expression of proper fear pacified the rapist and he looked back to his work, grabbed the woman’s hips and pounded on.

Another five seconds passed.  He didn’t look at me again, as I released my clenched fingers and brought both my booted feet forward hard, directly into his hip joint.  He flew off his prie-dieu and bounced off the large heavy brewing table on the other side of the room.  I leapt to my feet, as did my friends.  Before another thing happened, however, I woke – upright and shaking in my bed.  There was blood in my mouth, tears on my face.

DO I expect something so horrific from the Trump Administration?  Is that even sane?  I could never have even envisioned such a thing in my waking life!  It is enough that such a horrible vision could even be suggested; such fear unbound, unleashed, and loose in my head.  My dream, for me, is recognition of the threat embodied by the type of mentalities behind Trump.  My dream warns me not to think there is a low this new President would not sink to, to achieve his own idea of winning.

More than eight years ago, while Bush the Simply Stupid was President, I had a similarly scary dream.  In retrospect, it was so prettily framed compared to my latest nightmare.

I was one of many peasants, harvesting a golden field of grain, by hand.  In the distance there was a golden dais, complete with billowing golden draperies moving in the summer wind.  The huge thing was empty, which in the dream felt reassuring for some odd reason.  Then a sound began, a terrible bellowing, trumpeting with the attendant sounds of screams and crashings.  People dropped their sickles, scythes and other tools and began to run.  I was frozen in place, and into my most distant field of view came a giant elephant, magnificently caparisoned in gold cloth and jewels.  The tusks were ringed with shining brass.  It was rogue and maddened – swinging the massive head and tossing humans, animals, and furnishings before it.  I looked once more and ran, and running, woke.

I thought my imagination had finally just gone nuts; what the fuck does that kind of thing even mean?  The GOP rampant and mad?  Well, hell, they had been there for a while – then calling what was once called “the loyal opposition” treacherous and disloyal for even disagreeing with them.  Now, looking back — I have to wonder with a superstitious chill of the spine, if I saw the Donald; he of gold curtains and an unmitigated ego?

I don’t want to believe in dreams.  But then, I didn’t want to believe Donald Trump would ever inhabit the White House either, did I?

The Discomfort Zone – Are We Recycling Selves in Shame?

2017-01-08-107nc_df_0-2I’ve been struggling for a good while now with certain trends in society. I’ve fought racism and sexism all my life — I started taking hits for doing this as early as fifth grade for the first, and my junior year in high school for the latter.  So, I’m not a novice, exactly to the field of change vs progress.

I think progress is the goal, rather than just any old change that comes along being labeled as progress.  And I’d really rather not watch those I think of as allies doing what is commonly referred to as “eating their own.”  So, I admit, a relatively recent phenomenon in feminism makes me squirm with discomfort: the seemingly harsh take of some feminists about trans-women.  The level of “cut them from our herd” behaviors makes me wince, to be honest.  I first noted it being written about in relation to some pagan conventions, when certain women’s spirituality groups banned trans-women because they weren’t “real” women, weren’t “born” women.(Just as a small linguistic aside?  Let me say the term “cis” for those “real”, “born” women makes me think of the word “cyst”.  Make of that what you will.)

One acquaintance tried to make the case for being anti-trans inclusion by asking me if Rachel Dolezal was black.  No, she isn’t black although she chooses to identify as black.   What does that objectively (if not objectionably) mean?  When I first read about the outing of Rachel as white, I spent a good deal of time trying to get inside her head.  Why would she do such a thing?  I began to speculate and review my own memories and experiences in search of explanation.

As I was graduating high school – with a grade point average artificially reduced because my Principal, who was pissed at me for getting a petition allowing girls to wear pants instead of skirts/dresses only, said in spite of my A-average, I had “too many unexcused absences” and reduced ALL my grades to mere B’s – I read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  It broke my little all-but-entirely-white heart into little bitty guilt-stained pieces, let me tell you.  I have a grandmother I’d been told was Comanche — though whether she was a “half-breed” or a mere quarter was lost somewhere in shamed white pride in the family.  Oh, reading that book and then soon thereafter following the white cop/FBI confrontations that ended with Leonard Peltier in prison, sure made me wish I could claim another race than white!  This would have been complicated by my blue eyes and blond hair, right?  But that didn’t stop Rachel Dolezal, did it?

So, it made me wonder, if my late adolescent desire to be Indian instead of white (in spite of having only a few drops of Amerindian blood) was motivated by shame?  Was that the motivation, if only subconsciously, for Rachel Dolezal?  And yes, I know some several someones out there on the web will take umbrage and get insulted at the idea that shame could be such a motivation.  Tough.  Shame IS a motivation in society, otherwise slut-shaming and other such egregious behaviors would not exist.  I DID manage to not present myself as anything but what I am — a blend of Northern European with a drop of Amerindian to lend me lactose intolerance, yay? (And coincidentally, much later on being told by an Indian, that I was NOT Indian because I was not reservation-raised.  Gee, I feel so excluded by choices I did not get to make?  Maybe?  So, is a black woman not black if she didn’t grow up in Donald Trump’s hellish “inner city”?)

So, if one makes a leap from feeling such horror of actions done by one’s race can make you wish you were something else, could horror over what things have been done by one’s sex make you crave a different identity?  I have no idea if horror at male behavior could make some men actually say, “You know, I don’t want to be THAT guy – in fact I don’t want to be ANY guy!”  It seems doubtful to me.  Trans people I know say they just knew they were in the wrong body.  A few I have read about might have a point – certain people born with confusing combinations of sexual parts – who might once have been called hermaphrodites, might have had a snap decision made by a doctor or parent in their infancy.  I could easily see that causing them to want to be something other than that random “assignment.”

Feminists have been at lengths to rationally explain that there are two “sexes” determined by physical attributes at birth.  But what does that mean for people with indeterminate sexual bits, eh?  On the other hand, gender, they tell us, is societally imposed bits assigned to those bearing said physical attributes.  My school Principal, seeing bumps on my chest, assigned “wears skirts” to me as a gender attribute to match my physiology, for instance.  Perhaps my demand to wear pants violated some deeply held belief in a Biblical injunction against women wearing men’s clothing?  (Never mind, of course, that in Biblical days NOBODY wore pants!)

So, if I am understanding the trans objections of certain feminists, they are against the idea that trans people wear the clothing of their chosen gender as an outward sign of the sexual identity they wish to adopt?  Gender is an artificial and negatively affecting condition and thus to be wore down, ground out, and destroyed, you see?  So the trans idea of men wearing feminine attributes like skirts, bras, make-up only reinforces the subjugating force of gender and must be opposed?  Am I getting this right?  My mind does boggle at this, you see?

I get into these moral dilemmas when ideology seems to completely cut people, who are surely suffering, out of the equation in the service of an idea.  What are these suffering people left on the margins in the pursuit of a perfect ideology, if not some kind of snarling logicality induced collateral damage?  If one assigned this same rational to homosexuality, by saying, for example “Men being fucked like women reasserts gender roles, so by Logic, we canNOT have THAT happening!” it wouldn’t wash, would it?  Oh, wait, something very like that IS what homophobic religious jerks DO say, isn’t it?  We have seen how that played out, haven’t we?

Thus, my problems with being anti-trans because “feminism opposes gender.”  I care about the people it is happening to more than I care about an idea about reinforcement of “gender”.  And what has this to do with a photograph of pretty glassware at the top of this random mental ramble?  Well, those lovely “glasses”?  They were once soda bottles.  They were TRANSformed into pretty, bright, colorful glasses to drink beer, wine, martinis — or water — out of instead.  So, I expect that any day now, we should catch hell from the Mormons decrying the natural non-alcoholic use of that GLASS being TRANSformed into something promoting the use of demon rum, etc, etc, etc.  Recycled soda bottles should only be made into more soda bottles, damn it all!

We are chasing our semantic tails round and round and forgetting people.  This disturbs and troubles me.  There are plenty of oppressors out there, I’ve met them.  It is when I meet them looking like ME that I am most disturbed.  I cannot “see” a trans woman being an oppressor by “reinforcing gender roles” because she is wearing a dress and has her hair permed.  No, I cannot.  I will not.  And no, I can’t just sit on my fingers or keep my mouth shut.  I am deemed an idiot, occasionally.  The reason is, I keep saying things like this: What would the world look like IF everyone actually COULD choose who/what/how to be?  Is that not really a suggestion of what a post-racism, post-sexism world might look like?

And yes, thank you.  I’d rather be an idealistic idiot than a snarling logicality-induced bit of rhetorical rubble.  I’m pretty ashamed to be American in the wake of the November election, but I don’t think I can be anything else.  I’m also pretty ashamed to be a human, in light of human behavior.  So, I will stick with idealistic idiot until I find a wolf pack that will take me in in spite of my inadequate hairiness.

Birthday Month – I Am Not the “New” Anything, Thanks

Winged AnewHuffing along with the Huffington Post bit on ageism.  Oh, the places young fools will let their mouths take them:

7. “You are proof that 60 is the new 40.”

I do feel this one is the sort of stupid thing that gets said to women more than men.  Because hey, you HAVE to be younger to be worthwhile as a woman, right?  I don’t have to be 40 to be “hip” — as I said earlier, I didn’t have TIME in my life to be “hip” or anything else until I was at least 40.

Frankly, there are better things to be than “hip” anyhow.  Mature.  Wise.  Realistic.  Canny.  Creative.  Snarky.  Effective.  And all, absolutely ALL of those get better with age!

The Descent/Ascent of Innana? Part One

Vertical Roses 1It is a popular myth – the Descent of Innana.  It has been interpreted again and again.  I’ve read the story, I’ve read the interpretations, I’ve even read some rather artful re-writes (like Vellum and Ink) of this tale.  They all intrigued and troubled me, like something quivering in my memory and consciousness and not ready to be born yet.  Innana, a goddess of love and sex and beauty, descends into the Underworld ruled by her sister.  She goes through seven gates (note the seven roses  to the left), sacrificing more of her power and self until she is hung (up to dry?) like a corpse.  She is rescued by loyal retainers, in the end — those she entrusted sufficiently.  She sacrifices her husband Damuzi to be freed from the land of the dead.

This myth and that picture have possessed me equally for the last five years.   Innana went to the land of the dead to increase her power.  She did not go, like Orpheus – to recover a lost love.  She was not the first deity “hung up” either – Odin hung nine days upon a tree for wisdom and the magic of runes.  She had the foresight to arrange her own retrieval.  Rank as a goddess has its privileges?

I’ve come to think, now that youth has fled and lonely sleepless nights without crying children no longer distract me, that all women do so descend.  We begin, perhaps goddess-like and yes, putting on mascara/heels/mini-skirts that say “Come, Men, come!”  Or for some of us, “Come, Women, come.”  We begin with a sense of power, a red of the “come and fuck me” variety that is so sure of itself, like that first glorious rose, with blood-hued thorns to back our game!  We take our first (high heeled?) step into love.  We are bold, we believe in our power and invincibility?  We never imagine love demands a sacrifice.

When does that vivid blossom that is “us”, “you”, or “me” first begin to fade?  With a few rejections under our belts?  Or a rape?  Or the rabid reaction of a rejected suitor?  I was tough, I went through a half dozen emotional/sexual entanglements and an abortion without losing a “crown” or a jewel of my self-confidence.  I married a man who plainly stated a month prior that I was not good enough for him — he had a bad case of “the perfect woman” going.  I was woman and ready to roar, sure I would win him over.

And I did.  But.  There is always a but, and that began to bleed the color from my petals.  Married, soon accidentally pregnant – we joked that I got knocked up from a hot look.  As rapidly not pregnant, again by accident — by “miscarriage’, the medical “spontaneous abortion” that meant any plans to have a family might not be as simple as choosing the proper time.  I was told to reproduce while young or risk never succeeding.  I didn’t want children yet, but my husband did. I didn’t want children at all, the world didn’t look fit for people I would love in excess of my own well-being.  But my timetable of if and/or when vanished into urgency.  Coral is a nice color, even if not red, right?

So, children — two in rapid succession.  My plans for a military career hit the rocks.  I had a supervisor who made my life hell, trying to force me out as he felt pregnant (or even married) women had no place in “his” Army.  We women were there for the fucking: married and pregnant chicks were not wanted!  The Army had a lot invested in my linguist/analyst self.  I had a lot invested in my analyst self!  I fought, I won — my supervisor was given the Army equal of a restraining order.

But I was exhausted and the Army itself bleached my dreams next.  They demanded a “parenting plan”… this was a new thing telling me we had to be ready to send our tender progeny to others so both of us simultaneously could be sent to dangerous places.  Neither of us liked our parents.  We didn’t like how we were raised.  I extended my first tour of duty, casting about for solutions or a change of military occupational specialty that might save me.

Every door that would be a solution slammed in my face.  So, they will save a parent’s last son from battle death — but will not consider saving even one of a child’s parents?  I felt so betrayed.  I felt sure if the Women’s Army Corps had not been disbanded and handed to the Regular Army like a gift wrapped present, this never would have been what happened to my career.  My husband was older and had more rank and time in grade.  I left the military and found myself blush pink with dismay at my sudden financial dependency.

The pink faded fast, into ashes of roses in rain.  In “dependent quarters” with other wives for neighbors, I was a bit of a pariah — being a former female soldier, I was told I was “that whore our husbands fuck.”  So much for female solidarity.  I took jobs.  I worked at post libraries, I was a newspaper editor.  An unexpected third pregnancy ended that job, as my fragile (now) middle child came apart on the baby’s birth.  She stole, she lied, she went full-on Electra on her baffled father, she tried to kill her infant brother.  In the newspaper I wrote an article asking why child care workers were paid so poorly.  I was told by the publisher to retract the article. I refused and was told it would not be published, I quit and went home to tend my aching breasts, my troubled daughter, and my delightful surprise baby.  I was not the frightened new mother, I was almost ready to think that life in black and white was better than those splashy colors.  Because motherhood was so much more fun this time, not juggling jobs and other things.

But I really feared the color of hope had bled out of my life when I attempted to use my GI Bill — I had to hurry by the time I got my kids in school.  The Viet Nam Era version said you had ten years after the end term of service.  I had barely three years left to get my Batchelor’s degree.  I applied credits for Army language school, and for EMT training and odd classes grabbed here and there.  I got my Associates degree in one year, “challenging” classes like mad — paying and taking the final for winner take all grades.

But then my husband left the military.  Civilian life was a real shock to his PTSD’d self.  We suddenly needed two really good cars, he needed thou$ands in suits, ties, and civilian shoes.  My daughter was having her school call me several times a day; she would pee her pants rather than stay in school.  Counselors refused to believe there was a problem, we were good parents they said – it would wear off.  But the phone kept ringing.

I rebelliously and resolvedly bought my 22 books for my first semester at Evergreen State University.  I attended my first week of classes.  One of my professors, during an “uptake” interview, after discussing my military time, told me what a “sexy image” it was to think of me leaving the firing range to breast-feed my first son on my lunch break.  I was appalled.  Then they said every other week, there would be no class — that was for research and homework.  In places like libraries in San Francisco.  

My good gods.  Who the hell did they think their students were?  I could barely cover tuition and books with my GI Bill, it had no stipends then.  Childcare came out of a shrunken household budget from my husband’s check.  I got a part time job.  I did volunteer work on weekends.  I was definitely white with exhaustion from ‘having it all’.  And I was in the ER with angina three times in one week.  The doctor signed my “let her go before she dies” order.  The school gave back the GI Bill money so Uncle Sam wouldn’t come after my impoverished, ventricular tachycardia-ing self.  I went home, again.

I had a nervous break-down; my world turned black.  I got up in the morning and made lunches and put kids on buses.  I laid back down in my bed and stared at the ceiling all day long.  I wept.  I would never have a college degree.  I would be financially dependent on a man.  I was ashamed.  I got up  and made dinner on auto-pilot and went back to bed.  My husband didn’t seem to notice.  My kids thought running riot was great.  It took me six months to ascend to the ‘new normal’.  I became functional, but the only red in my life was occasional flashes of fury and rage.  I dressed in black for the consistency.

We remodeled the house.  A ladder broke under me as I worked, dropping me and blowing four of my seven cervical disks out of place in my spine and breaking a rib.  My doctor told me my “rib wasn’t broke, silly girl, and that neck pain is ’cause you carry to much tension in your neck.”  I argued for three years, only after finishing the house job.  My rib would snap and re-break, making me run to the bathroom to vomit in pain and nausea.  But we finished, it was lovely.  It was six months before my exhaustion and depression lifted enough to notice the improvements all actually worked.

I had two spinal surgeries to fuse my neck so I could keep use of my left arm and hand.  I fired my doctor and did without one for about ten years.  I tried a female doctor.  She told me I was “obese” because I weighed 15 pounds more than I did at age 20 when I joined the Army.  Everything, she said, was my own fault for being “an obese American.”  I told her off and left her office.  It was five more years before I sought medical care again.

In the meanwhile, my husband’s PTSD was devouring him.  In 2011 it erupted like the Minoan island of Thera — swamping every bit of our life in hot ashes and tidal waves of emotional chaos.

How much could I keep sacrificing on love’s altar?  Me, the “polydeist pagan” who never even thought about Aphrodite — or Innana?  I was Athena’s and Hekate’s and wanting to run in the woods like Artemis.  What did I believe?  I believed in humanity.  I was a feminist, but not one that would throw a wounded man under the bus for my own pleasure and peace.

So, I retreated, alas not gracefully, to a smaller building on our property.  I barricaded my battered black heart (of innocence?) if not my door.  My husband, who had wanted to be “free as at 18” was shattered by my decamping.  (Note: at 18 he was on his way to Viet Nam with a death wish, scarcely “free.”)  He had a habit of asking for one thing, but inarticulately wanting something completely different.  But I wasn’t concerned with what he wanted, just then.  I was in trouble.  I wanted to run and far and fast.  And there was no place to go.

I was an analyst.  So I analyzed my situation.  I woke in the morning, fed and freed the pet ferrets, who loved the new digs with no doors – just one big crazy room.  I drank coffee, I read.  I stayed up all night and ate midnight mac and cheese.  I ritually burned copies of my marriage certificate.  I sold my wedding bands and bought black leather boots.  I cried.  I laughed.  I shouted and threw things.  I did arts and crafts to send to friends.  I did Netflix binges lasting weeks.  I practiced magical arts.  I let the gardens die, except the roses.

And my back hurt.  Yes, definitely feeling that meat hook through the spine between my shoulders.  I passed, naive and honest, through gates of loss – leaving my own blood on every thorn along the way.  I forgot to tell anyone to come save me.  I am not a goddess, damn it.  A bit more like Odin — I was hanging and nobody else was coming for taking me down.

Part Two of this “entirely too much information” post soon.  But yes, this “Innana” WILL ascend.