the nether week

not the holiday, not the new year, all of these queer days feel like the moment a skyscraper elevator goes weightless at an apex and before gravity pulls back — just floating, disoriented. it seems like a string of days which should be a mass, formal recess, held for processing the previous year, intending for the following, grounding, being in nature, laying to rest, welcoming, resting a second before the next everything.

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the finest time of year is everything covered in ice

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gifting…

i’m doing small, four card readings for the coming year for anyone who would like one. all twelve of you who read this (unless it’s term paper season, which means many visitors per day for the Betty Draper paper… {and all of you are welcome to this, too!}) are welcome to reach me in your preferred way and i will do a four-card spread, write it up for you, and even keep it wallet-sized so you can easily refer to it throughout the year. These are simple spreads: 1) theme card (personal theme of the year), 2) don’t do this (actions, mindsets, stances to avoid), 3) do this (how to foster what you want, growth, progress) 4) it will lead to this (outcome).

i’m doing larger readings for folks for the next two days, which is a dream, especially because it’s for four of my very, very favorite people.

simple 4-card tarot spread
here is a 4-card from last year. (this actually got five cards because an extra popped with that fourth card.)

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i have a little to say later about saturn in cap, a little to say about the images that occupied me last year (and therefore symbolize it), a few new projects, but for now it feels like such a quiet time of taking inventory and being outside, enjoying the winter.

 

 

 

 

happy new moon…

the last new moon of the year.

Chani Nicholas – New Moon in Sagittarius

Chani is not generally my favorite writer, but the last few paragraphs of this make my tender little sagittarius heart sing, like I’m standing alone in a bright, snow-filled clearing.

I will probably write more about Saturn going into Capricorn after so damn long (Dec 2014 to now), because that has been such a tough transit for me. Saturn, all beige-y, mothball smelling, and like eating a steady diet of raw kale and cooked liver… all good for you with a side of misery. It taught me extremely hard, extremely good lessons, but damn if it didn’t obstruct so many of my inherent gifts. Sort of like the difference between when the Wizard of Oz goes from black and white to color, but in reverse… like having all the color taken away. I’m glad to be getting my colors back.

 

 

 

 

 

chiron direct

(Was I this insufferable when I was studying wine? Aesthetics of hunger? Buffy? Probably. Probably. It’s only thoughts on Chiron and recent astrology beyond this point, folks… )

Here we hang, Sun sitting in Scorpio still, at the edge of sidereal Sagittarius and feeling the last scrapes and thorns of the season. But Chiron just went direct after retrograde, and these sorts of shadows are deeper reflections than Scorpio alone tends to deal in.

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I circled Chiron for you and its aspects. Generally, for the non-astro folk, red lines are difficult, blue more harmonic.

Chiron is the wounded healer asking us to heal ourselves, and its natal house placement indicates where our deepest personal wounds and painful narratives reside.

Even though Chiron went direct, it’s not having an easy time, with tough aspects to Sun, Mercury, and Saturn. And when Chiron goes direct, it seems to sort of grind in its lessons from the retrograde. (If you can’t parse what lessons Chiron tried to impart through the summer and fall, check your charts to see what houses Pisces and Aquarius occupy.) Retrograde started June 30th in Pisces. Chiron went back to Aquarius, and then went direct on Dec. 5th.

Chiron asks us to do the hard work to transcend our deepest pain and what we have come to believe about ourselves or our lives because of it. Even when you do the work Chiron dredges and presents, there’s more. And meanwhile, the fears we have about ourselves create deep neural patterns in our brains, scripts we play, sometimes on repeat. That’s what Chiron wants us to fix,  the narrative that says, “I’m too ___________ to ever be / have ____________.” It’s also about the lies we tell ourselves, about ourselves — the fictions we’ve created and locked into that prevent us from growing, all born out of deep pain.

We are not meant to be static creatures. Like all living things we are meant to express natural cycles, and our environments. Whether we subscribe to faith, a greater creative force, or nothing at all, most people feel life is to be lived and encountered, and that there’s a path organically unfolding that we are to walk along.

We all know people in our lives who seem to be stalled or stuck in time, looking and being much the way they were at a certain point in their lives, unwilling or maybe afraid to change their views, and no longer growing with those around them. This is the extreme opposite of what Chiron asks us to do throughout our lives. It’s a sort of spiritual fingers in ears, head in the sand way of being in the world that causes us to never confront ourselves and our pain, and that can rule us if we let it. And when the fears and destructive narratives turn circles in our head, we simply fall to them, stuck, the same.

Chiron wants us to find all of the ways we have been lied to about ourselves and kindle old pains… how we prevent our own healing and growth and what beliefs we have about ourselves that prevent us from the wholeness we long for.

To have Chiron station direct during Scorpio season feels like a little extra salt in our wounds and pointing at the blackboard and saying, “This will be on the test.”

Be kind to yourselves and others — it’s the end of a tender season. Sun moves to Sagittarius on the 16th, followed by the new moon in Sag on the 18th. Use the courage, thoughtfulness, connectivity, and honesty Sagittarius provides to heal the cuts and stings Scorpio dealt, and to value the reflection of ourselves Chiron provided. We are worthy of love, we are worthy of our deepest wishes, we are worthy of the liberation gained in healing our pain and dismantling fears, even if we don’t feel it.

(Don’t forget that Mercury is retrograde so take extra care checking schedules and details and in communications with one another!)

 

 

 

(notes on joy

 

…taken during thanksgiving dinner, generated by two former ministers – one a writer, an architect, a retired healthcare worker, and myself.

i’ve been mulling the concept of joy for years, trying to parse its parameters, definition, edges. So luring one end of a table into this philosophical discourse was like a balm for my brain. it’s not a great holiday until you have to take notes…)

joy
notes on joy, with my natural conclusion at the bottom.

I have such a long post about Scorpio season, which we just passed out of, and the move to Sagittarius season, but I find my devotion to personal essay is perpetually drained. I have so many essays sitting in ‘drafts.’ After so much ceaseless work to understand and repair, it seems like I have finally reached the end of looking and working inward to try and fix the whole machine.

And Scorpio season is gone, with its stings and realizations, true colors, and transformations, sharpened desires, hard feelings, clarities gained the tough way. Everyone is a bit banged up after, as we enter the season of mutable fire now. Sagittarius’ truth and clear aims, philosophy & knowledge-seeking, connecting, enthusiasm, curiosity, affinity for the natural world, and healthy, loving boundaries that support freedom, its bluntness, its need for adventure – both internally and externally (says your resident uber Sag 🏆).

Now that I’ve started studying astrology, my working theory is this: we manifest our (closest?) cusp signs more, the older we get. For instance, my Sidereal rising sign is Aries (pushing through, forward moving, fighter, focused, clever, fearless, leading) making my Tropical ascendent Taurus (calm, loyal, cautious, sensual, persistent). As I get older, I’ve watched myself manifesting more Taurus – increasing calm, passive up to a point, seeking comfort and the Aries becoming far more mellowed. So far, I see this as true for most, but I’ve only just started thinking about it. And of course, planetary aspects would heavily influence this theory. Maturation obviously happens, but I’m curious how maturation happens to the character… what blueprint it utilizes.

Neptune has finally come out of retrograde and gone direct. And as such, the dreaming has returned. In retrograde, it’s like losing a sense — so much less information and knowing presented. Dreaming has been barren for months, a dark, void box. But, now it’s populated again, like a switch was flipped and like losing your place in a book and then opening it too far ahead… nothing is where you left it. The dreams are so vulnerable.

Chani has some thoughts for this week… read your rising signs too, peeps! Mercury Retrograde and Full Moon Tropical Gemini / Sidereal Taurus

And timely: Sailor J released her take on Aries today… minus the judgy-ness, this is too real.  (I’ve probably watched this 12 times. All of these are perfect and you should watch them.)

 

 

social studies

Rest well, dear friend and mentor, N. Eugene Tester. It’s immeasurable how much better I am for having known you. I fear anything else I could or should convey now will only feel trite and thin, but I feel a need to try…

There is much to say about his work as an educator, as well as his positive impact on me, my life, and helping me to honor, sharpen, and utilize my inherent gifts and abilities. He taught me to dismantle the destructive behavior of anyone who tried to minimize or harm me or a community, via informed intelligence and truth. Rest well, good man. Thank you for reinforcing in me to always keep seeking knowledge and to never cease learning. Thank you for seeing everything everyone was trying to crush out of me and frame as wrong, for the intrinsic gifts they were. I wouldn’t be half the truth teller and perpetual student I am had I not met, been respected by, and learned from you.

What a full, and well-lived life.

Though you never believed it, we will met again.

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hey lady

(I tried to make an image only post, but this wordpress theme won’t post my image alone so here’s some text…)

It is 1:48 and I’m already back in bed, working from here. (I consider this a huge success.) When I was a child, I wished for bed cars… slow mph beds that you could just steer around so that you didn’t have to leave bed. And when Google and Tesla develop that in a few years, just remember whose mind was cutting that edge way back when.

Today I enthused all over the lady sampling and selling mushroom tinctures at the grocery store until she gave me Paul Stamets’ book of scientific mushroom studies for free (presumably) so that I would go away. Me: “Paul Stamets?! I LOVE HIS WORK. MUSHROOMS ARE GOING TO SAVE US.” Her: “…yes… here take this with you…” (It didn’t really go like that, but I did note that my enthusiasm for getting to talk about mushroom research, mid-day at a grocery store on a run of the mill Tuesday, was pretty vibrant.)

The thing about having this many points and planets in Sagittarius is that when there is no upheaval you are living through, you have all of this available, genuine enthusiasm just effusing all over the place. I feel sorry for people on the street with dogs… I’m going to stop and tell all of you how great they are. ALL OF YOU.

 

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today’s guest star

When the class you are attending emails the night before saying: “wear your most comfortable clothes.”

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No one has ever been as qualified for a job as I am for this one.