I’m Here.

Hey! It’s been awhile.

Right after my last post life got…well, busy. As it does. Husband was in a fender-bender, I registered for college, we started searching for a day-care for Claire, we went out of town, in-laws came into town, we bought cars, I decided to start re-watching all (!) of Buffy, and I started orienting my career-path to something more solid (hence, going back to school). All of the previous has meant a shit-ton of errand running and go go go.

But, I think for the next few weeks we have some breathing space. Before I start classes, before I put C into daycare (sniff), before, before, before.

It’s been kind of a weird time. Making these decisions about life, leaving other decisions behind, for now. When we got pregnant earlier this spring we were so ready for a second child. Now? Now that’s been put on hold, for a while, anyway. Some days it feels right. Some days I stumble on one of C’s old size 1 diapers and it makes me terribly, terribly sad.

I’m not sure how we, how I, am supposed to make these decisions. How do I make one decision when it means, maybe irrevocably, giving up something else? How do I joyfully anticipate one thing, while grieving the loss that’s implied? I don’t know. I really don’t.

Despite the above paragraphs, I’m really not sad. I’m exploring the tension, being honest about it with my friends and my husband, and acting on something, goddammit. The tension is better than inaction, at least for now.

The Sun card has come up a few times in my daily card draw.  It’s a new card for me; one that I’ve only drawn a couple of times (if that) in the past. I take this as an auspicious sign. That action is the right course for now. That things that have been unclear for a couple of years now will begin to be worked out, like knotted muscles during a run.

So, really, that’s all. Normal, busy, life.

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The Tower

The Tower is kind of a disturbing card to receive on a daily card draw.  Every morning I do a quick shuffle and draw a card. It helps me get familiar with the deck, and provides me with a touchstone to consider throughout the day. Drawing the Tower always stymies me a bit. I surreptitiously look around for cracks in the walls and wait for a rumble of thunder. I mean, the meaning of the card is pretty forthright: destruction, catastrophe, radically shifting paradigms, fast movement, etc.

I thought the best way to approach it was to write down some thoughts that have been changing in my life, or thoughts that have the potential to prove to be transforming down the line. That worked and provide valuable insight into what may be coming next.

Later that evening, after J and I had watched out TV show, and I had taken my magnesium to help me go to sleep (’cause I’m obviously an old lady, right?! :)) I got a sudden urge to clean. It started by remembering that I wanted to purge the pantry of the gluten-containing items that we don’t use any more.  Besides making me feel sick, C also seems to be allergic to either wheat or all gluten, so I decided to get rid of everything but white flour and sugar (since, if I wanted to bake for friends, that’s what I’d use). I packed up the whole-wheat flours and couscous and specialty pastas and then…suddenly…I remembered that I had empty jars that I could fill with our bulk bin items still in plastic. Did that. Then just started cleaning, rearranging, wiping, muttering,  you know. I had ‘The Clean’ on me and followed it till I leaned back against the counter and realized…

I had put the flour and sugar canisters in the pantry.

Most of you reading this don’t know me personally, but if you had for any length of time you’d know that I bake. Or I did. I learned to cook and bake sitting on my grandma’s counter, early as two. She always had flour and sugar out, and mixed biscuits up about every morning. Rolls, biscuits, cakes, cookies–all delicious, all made without a measuring cup in sight. Just took handfuls of ingredients out of canisters sitting on the counter.

My mom is the same, and I’ve continued that ‘tradition’. Always have the goods within reach, always in sight, always homey and comforting. It was my mark of ability as a cook that I could mix up biscuits without measuring cups, that I was able to judge the completion of a dough or batter by its looks rather than following a recipe.

But now, since those ingredients are actually detrimental to Claire and me, and I don’t even use them that much anymore, they went into the pantry. Without me even thinking about it.

I know. It’s just flour and sugar.

But at the same time that I’m proud for changing, I’m more than a little uncomfortable to be leaving that behind. Or in the pantry.

First Public Ritual

So, I went to my first ever public ritual. It was an esbat held by the local CUUPS in a Methodist church. How is that for mind-boggling? Kind of weird to be doing a circle invoking a goddess under a cross. However, the church is a ‘reconciling’ congregation, and very other-faith and gay friendly.

It was nice. I was surprised by how much older everyone else was—I’d say the average age was 50.

The ritual itself was contemplative, focusing on Aphrodite. The ritualist seemed nervous, but during the guided meditation she really hit her stride. Her voice turned suddenly rich and soft and the meditation itself was incredibly evocative. What disrupted it was people coming in late. I like the yoga take on that–five minutes late, don’t even bother coming in. The energy is set, and it only serves to disrupt.

I felt nervous before going, so nervous that I did a small Tarot spread before hand. It was a three card spread. First card reflecting the nature of the group, second card being the implication if I did go, third card being the implication if I didn’t.

First: Three of Cups

Second: The Tower

Third: Six of Swords

Having the Tower card show up was…interesting. With the group seeming to be genial and 6/S evoking a certain listlessness if I stayed home…well…I decided to go. While the ritual didn’t exactly shake me to my core, it did remove a certain hesitancy I’ve had about attending pagan gatherings. You know…like…wow. Everyone’s so normal. Who knew?