Activism · Poetry · Practice · spirituality · The Moon

Going into Spring

Would you believe it’s nearly Ostara, or the Spring Equinox?  I cannot.  I feel like I just had my birthday (February 8) and the days are slipping past…. I can tell you this has been compounded by working a day and night shift rotation at work.  This serves to confuse morning and night and when I should be sleeping and eating and finding bits of time in between to work on my practice.

unnamed

But, here we are.  What have I been up to?

Well, February, the shortest month, of course, came and went like the blink of an eye.  Mostly, I recall the poetry that I made that month.  Thanks, again to Jodi for organizing this challenge!  She continued the challenge as a once a week thing (#pinpsaturday), inspired by tarot cards, and though I participated in the first one I have yet to write my second….. But, below is my favorite poem that I wrote in February (it was really hard to pick just one).  This poem helped to inspire my recent blog post on what it means to be wild.

what does it mean to be wild?
the seething, open expanse of my soul
the feral growling of my heart
the heady tingle between my legs.
do you see me as a beast, roaming?
do you feel my spirit, stalking?
come drink at water’s edge with me,
Orion shining on the backs of our necks.
transitory duality,
     the sense of self we refuse to apologize for.
the fiery snaps of passion.

In February, I opened my tarot shop and had a successful first month, in my humble opinion.  No, I do not expect to be raking in $50,000/year with my tarot side hustle (which Benebell somehow says is possible!…).  But I read for a variety of beautiful people, and at the end of the month donated 10% of my profits to The Trevor Project.  (If you’re interested in booking a reading with me click here.)

Also in February, I went to my first Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) meeting.  This local group is still quite new and I would be lying if I said that it was a wonderful experience.  As described previously on my blog, it is a group focused on getting white people involved in the fight for racial justice.  I think that the heart of this group is in the right place, but I also think that it is not quite the flavor of social justice that I’m looking for right now.  My next step is to make contact with the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, which is a local group and below is their mission statement from their website.

“Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice inspires, educates, and mobilizes people to unite across differences and to act from their shared ethical and spiritual values in pursuit of peace with social and environmental justice.”

I think this group might be more in line with my current path, as I’m feeling more spiritually inclined recently.

Oh, and, I’ve been reading more (as per my “what does it mean to be wild?” post)!  I finished Big Little Lies (a chick lit novel, that was just ok) and I’m working through Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman.  So far the book is not what I expected, though it is interesting to learn about Artemis and how her themes connect to the modern world.  I hope it gets better, a little more personal and spiritual, but we’ll see.  I’m also working my way through The Wildwood Tarot: Wherein wisdom resides, aka the guidebook for The Wildwood Tarot.  I recently purchased the deck, and it feels very special and different so I wanted to read through the guidebook completely before working with it (an idea from the lovely Ania).

Speaking of Artemis… She’s the first goddess that I felt an affinity for, that I felt had something to teach me.  She’s the goddess that helped/is helping me connect more with my wild.  And now, another goddess has made herself known to me: Cailleach.  I wrote a little bit about her on my Instagram, and she really deserves her own post, but I copied my IG summary here…  She is an ancient pre-Celtic (and then Celtic) goddess of the ancestors, wisdom, weather, time, shape-shifting, and winter.  She helps us with the cycles of life, provides protection, to release what no longer serves us, strength, trust, balance, magic, and transformation.  It is said that she created the rocky terrain of Scotland and Ireland by dropping boulders from her apron.  I’m just starting to learn a bit about her, but I feel she will be a powerful teacher.  Going into spring really isn’t her season (goddess of winter, hello), but her lessons feel applicable to where my life is now.

unnamed-1

Along with this exploration of Cailleach, I’ve finally jumped in to watching the videos of the incomparable Kelly-Ann Maddox.  This was a recommendation from Sammy (aka @spiritandsaga on Instagram), and I’m working through some of Kelly-Ann’s older videos.  I can already tell her videos are a goldmine of resources and I’m inspired by how open she is about her path.  To be honest, I find it difficult to get through YouTube videos because I find that I can’t multitask very well when watching them.  Even trying to listen to one while blogging is a bit difficult for me…

By the way, did I tell you that I received the most beautiful reading from Sammy in February?  I shared some pretty personal stuff with her, and she took that and gave me an in-depth, insightful and helpful reading.  I’ve returned to it a number of times in the last month, and I’m so grateful for her words.  Go check out her shop — she has some truly creative spreads available.

And so, March.  I’ve been making art (something new for me!) with the #createthisoracledeck challenge hosted by Kristen (@otmoraclecards on Instagram).  I loved the way that the post-it note poetry made me feel: creative, but with no pressure.  That’s how I feel about this oracle deck challenge.  I’m using mostly watercolor, and really enjoying the experimentation and also the “writing” of the “guidebook” (aka the captions).  I’m a couple days behind but will hope to catch up this week…  Above are three examples of my cards, and also the mountain card to the right of Cailleach further above.

unnamed-5

Then yesterday, I pulled the Page of Pentacles from the Morgan-Greer Tarot and “curious” from the Soul Space Oracle.  These two decks together have astounded me so much that I don’t really want to use anything else recently.  I have been pulling one tarot and one oracle card from each deck, and there are always such wonderful reflections of each other.  Either simply in keyword, color, shape, or all of the above.  Here, the page of pentacles and curious go together so seamlessly, an interpretation doesn’t feel required.  The page of pentacles is the most curious page of the bunch — though, don’t get me wrong, curious is, indeed, a great keyword for all pages.  But this page, he’s about digging in, about exploring the physical world, he’s about taking a journey.  He’s curious about his dreams, he’s curious about growth and the natural ways we can manifest for ourselves.  He can be a harbinger of new experiences, including new jobs…

Which, do you remember my blog post about the full moon in Leo back in February?  I wrote of a some good news surrounding empire building?  OH YEAH — I’m starting a new job on March 27!  I’m moving to the labor and delivery unit in my current hospital.  I’m so excited for this new venture, as this new unit and type of care I will be providing seems much more in line with my personal and spiritual development over the last 2.5 years that I’ve worked in the operating room.  I’m so grateful for my experiences in the OR: it was a great way to begin my nursing career without immediately hating and being overwhelmed by my job.  It taught me how to be truly confident in my nursing care and practice.  I’m so thrilled to see where my career will take me from here.  And I’ll be working 3-12 hour shifts per week, full-time midnights, so that will be a big (positive) change for me.

And the moon, that big beautiful moon.  The recent full moon in Virgo has teased out some weird feelings for me, (I’ve been trying lately to identify how the moon cycle affects my feelings/body, but really all I come up with is “weird”).  Sometimes, it’s like I need change to happen immediately, I need to do something drastic to feel productive.  But, lately, I’m feeling as if all of my little changes are starting to add up.  I’m getting into the long game, the “patient manifestation” from my above Soul Space Oracle reading.  Recently, all of my readings for myself seem to be about the same stuff on repeat.  Remember that Tarot Thursday Three question about remaining unbiased when reading for ourselves?  Yeah, well, I’m having a hard time with that lately.  I’m not sure if it’s the full moon, or the Venus retrograde, or just my airy little mind, but….it’s weird.

Phew, alright.  I think that’s a nice primer on what I’ve been up to!  What have you been up to?  What is calling to you going into this spring season?  What plans do you have cooking?  Do you have any thoughts about what I’ve shared above?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Poetry · Practice · Tarot · Tarot Spread · The Moon

February + Full Moon in Leo

unnamed-1

Another full moon has passed (check out the full virtual ritual that Leanna and I hosted here), and I must say I’m really loving creating and using my own spreads for the new and full moons.  It lends another level of mystique and exploration to the moon cycle.  The cards I pulled for my spread turned out pretty meaty — three majors beyond the Strength card that we pulled out separately — and I’ve been pulling influences in from all sides on how to interpret these cards.  (Namely from Olivia, and from Rose.)

unnamed-3

  1.  Message from my inner child.  The Emperor.

    Well, as it turns out, the Emperor has become a bit of a stalker card since last Friday.  I pulled him in this spread, in another full moon spread, and Sammy pulled him for me in a reading I purchased from her.  It’s kind of an odd message from my Inner Child, but Jodi told me, after I wrote a poem about dragons yesterday, that she feels that the Emperor is the dragon held in our heart.  I always feel that the Emperor tells me to stand tall and respect myself.  He doesn’t look super pleasant, though, does he?  And I think he’s a tough archetype to love, because though he stands as the “father” of the tarot, he just doesn’t feel very warm-hearted to me (like I feel all dads/parents should be, like mine :)).  He reminds us of the usefulness of having a game plan and structure, and setting milestones along the way to our dreams.  My inner child wants me to be confident, remember my goals, and make a plan to get there already!

  2.  Message from my present self.  Nine of Swords.

    Yikes.  Really, present self?  Nine of Swords?  Admittedly, yes, I do feel like I’m in a bit of a rut.  I’m working a weird schedule, and have a lot that I want to accomplish (and I am!) but also, there are so many other things I want to do right now… Writing more, exercising more, eating better…  And I’m not.  Are there just not enough hours in the day?  Or am I letting myself be pigeon-holed into distractions?  Here, the Nine of Swords reminds us that many of our anxieties are imagined, in our mind, like the nightmares of our sleep.  Shake out of it, girl.  Get out of these weird mind cycles.  “Be your own warrior,” as Olivia wrote.

  3.  Message from my higher self.  King of Swords.

    The Swords, despite their weirdly negative cards, is the suit I most identify with.  I mean, I’m an Aquarius, and I like my words and wit and intellect.  The King of Swords, the pinnacle of the swords suit, showing up as my message from my higher self is telling me to trust in my wisdom, my self-awareness.  He harnesses his wisdom for a higher, collective purpose.  I think this King is speaking toward the activism work that I am getting into, which is what my higher self wants for me, anyway.

  4.  What ego pattern(s) must I dismantle right now?  The Empress.

    I’ve often said that I don’t really connect with the Empress archetype, but perhaps this is a good time for me to look at this card from a different angle.  She featured in my reading with Sammy as well, and I think what she wrote for me may be part of this puzzle.  And also — why don’t I connect with the Empress?  I think this relates to the “not being a mother”…. Definitely some stuff to explore here.

  5.  My deck’s Strength card.

    Isn’t Strength such a power major?  One of my favorites, and connected to Leo astrologically.  This card always reminds me to roar my powerful lioness roar.

  6.  How can I share more of myself with the greater world?  The Hierophant.

    So, this last card makes my spread evenly gender balanced.  I very rarely pull the Hierophant (and Emperor… and Empress…), but Rose’s YouTube video on the Hierophant really brought him to life for me.  Where the High Priestess is about our intuitive, deep knowing, the Hierophant is there to bring this in to reality.  He is the action, the showing up, bringing thought to form.  He is the practice (my word of 2017) of the wisdom we dreamed from the High Priestess.  In this way, he is a perfect answer here.

Well, and here is my Leo full moon lunar eclipse spread by Vanessa, a lot of familiar cards here (8 of cups, page of swords) and, of course, again, the Emperor in the last position, “my forward focus on accelerating toward new goals.”  Seems the Emperor has a lot in store for me.

unnamed-5

What is it about February, though, eh?  We’re halfway through!  Besides being my birthday month (just turned 29, heyo!), there is a fresh promise of new beginnings.  We just passed Imbolc, the light is returning, the seeds are planted and going about their business of growing.  The sun has been rising earlier, staying up later, and I can’t deny that I love the clear, mild days we’ve been having around my parts (even though it makes me think of climate change non-stop…).  The birds have been more alive, the sidewalks are no longer covered in ice, and the fresh air rejuvenates me.

The other day, I was working in an operating room that has an outdoor view.  It was 6 PM and the sun was beginning its descent and the sky was a pinkish-grey.

“You know it’s February when it’s 6 PM and still light out,” I said to the room.
“….or it could be October,” responded my surgeon with a sarcastic, dry laugh.

Truth.  But I’m happy it’s February, the world is walking up, and spring is on the way.  With February and it’s unfurling, I’ve been practicing my poetry in an exercise called “Post-it note poetry” (#pinp17), which is hosted by Jodi on Instagram.  I’ve been wanting to experiment with poetry of late, and this was the perfect opportunity.  I must say I’m pretty happy with the results, even if the poems are somewhat rudimentary.

Themes of love and loss and the vastness of experience.  #Basic, but whatever I’m loving the exercise.

And I got some good news today that I’m not quite able to share yet, so stay tuned *vague, I know, sorry*…. I think the Emperor is definitely speaking to all the “empire” building I’m doing right now, as well.  It feels good to be moving and shaking and making progress.

Anyway, what have you all been up to?  How did you enjoy the full moon last Friday?  How’s your February going?  Let me know in the comments below.

exploringly yours,
Alaina x