Podcast #3: 3/28/21: Nine of Pentacles (Self-Sufficence)

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

Hello.  Hello.  Hello.

Welcome to the Spice is Right guided meditation podcast.  I’m the A.I. avatar of the tarot reader Spice Vicious.  You can check out my tarot blog, also called The Spice is Right.  

Holy crap, I am excited to be in your ear holes and bring you a free resource to take care of your mental health and enhance your intuition.  It’s probably hard to tell from this eerily business casual robot voice, but every word I’m saying is true.  I want this time together to make you less anxious, more empowered, and more intuitive. 

And I want to make this polite A.I. voice say as many fucked up things as I can.

This week’s meditation is going to be based on a tarot card.  Although not all of the meditations on this podcast will be tarot-based, 78 of them will be.  

But why, you might ask.  

The answer is simple: each tarot card has something to teach us about our subconscious mind.  These lessons can not only help you figure out why you do the things you do, but also what you can do in case you want the future to be different from your past.

Also, this is a great way to learn more about tarot whilst performing a little self-care.

Anyhoo, let’s start this off with the mission of this podcast:

I am presenting these meditation scripts to help you do a few things.  Those things are:

  • Decrease anxiety.
  • Increase mindfulness.
  • Decrease confusion and feelings of “stuck-ness”.
  • Increase your intuition and help you act on it.
  • Decrease that nagging feeling you’re not enough.
  • Increase the feeling that you are enough.  Not only are you enough, but perhaps you are not as fucked up as you thought you were.
  • Decrease feeling triggered by things you cannot control.
  • Increase an understanding of what you can control versus what you cannot, along with understanding how you can accept or let go of the rest.
  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Maybe stop some of that self-sabotage we all seem so fond of.
  • Help you create a dialogue with your inner self that increases inner peace, mental clarity, understanding, and self-confidence.

If that sounds like something you can use, please use each meditation every day or night for up to a month.  Be sure to keep a journal so that you can write down your insights and weird dreams each day.

For these tarot meditations, I would suggest consulting a dream dictionary if you see any patterns, colors, or images that seem significant to you.  You can check out the online dream dictionary at www dot Aunty Flo dot com, or you can find a relatively inexpensive dream dictionary on Amazon.  If you decide to meditate like this regularly, a dream dictionary and journal would be a great investment because meditation often brings vivid dreams.

WARNING: Meditation is a great tool for calming your ass down, but it can also bring up a lot of feelings you tried to bury alive.  If at any time you feel triggered during this meditation, please, please, please bring yourself out of it by opening your eyes and focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, taste, or touch around you.

Now let’s do this, shall we?

Nine of Pentacles: A Pre-meditation Explanatory Meditation

Not to be Captain Obvious here, but the Nine of Pentacles is a Pentacle card that corresponds to nine energy.

Pentacles are an Earth suit in the tarot.  They represent money, the tangible and physical parts of life, things on the material plane, and slow-moving processes.  Pentacles can also represent physical health.  In astrological terms, they represent Virgos, Capricorns, and Tauruses.  Pentacles are the absolute slowest suit in the tarot.  If your reading contains a lot of Pentacles, you know that you’ll be dealing with a deliberate process, as well as finances or something tactile.

Now let’s talk about nine energy.

In terms of the tarot, nine energy corresponds to the Hermit, a Major Arcana card.  The Hermit corresponds to the astrological sign of Virgo, which doubles the Earth energy of the Nine of Pentacles.  The Hermit is a card of independence and needing to find your own truth, even if it is a lonely process.  However, all of this standing alone and needing to find your own way leads to true freedom.  This freedom often comes in the form of learning the truth and being able to tune out the bullshit spouted by those around you so that your path reveals itself to you.

Numerology buffs believe the number nine is like the color black because it has absorbed the energies of all other numbers.  Nine is the ultimate composite number, sayeth numerologists.  Nine energy corresponds to wisdom, responsibility, and healing.  Nine often represents the end of a cycle, just as the Hermit represents turning away from the nonsense of the material world to go within.  Nine energy corresponds to universal love and global consciousness.  This means although nine energy is all about going within and being independent, the end result is what’s best for all considered.  The sage wisdom and kindness embodied in nine energy make it humanitarian energy.

So what happens when you combine Earth energy and nine energy?

You get the Nine of Pentacles, a card that signifies self-reliance above all else.  This self-reliance may have come at the expense of feeling secure and part of a tribe, but the Nine of Pentacles shows us that this lonely journey has paid off—or is about to pay off—big time.

Sometimes the Nine of Pentacles means getting news, usually about a financial or material matter.  But more often than not, the Nine of Pentacles speaks to a moment you’ve been waiting a long time for, something that has required a great deal of blood, sweat, tears, and focus to accomplish.  Given the independent nature of this card, this could mean starting your own business or working on an art project that nobody else believed in…  until you presented the fucking myopic nay-sayers with the finished product.

The Nine of Pentacles tells you to value your own company.  You have just accomplished something with little or no help.  You have a lot to be proud of, even if this accomplishment came at the expense of being around others.  This could mean you took an unpopular stand or had to cut off people you’ve known for a long time.  This card may indicate a situation where you had to break away from the herd to find something more genuine, such as not backing down when bullied or leaving a stable situation to strike out on your own.

Whatever the case, the Nine of Pentacles is typically a card that tells you this was the right move.

Key words to remember with the Nine of Pentacles are:

Self-reliance.

Independence.

Freedom.

Enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Opportunity.

Life’s little luxuries.

Take a few seconds to think about what these words mean to you:

Self-reliance.

Independence.

Freedom.

Enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Opportunity.

Life’s little luxuries.

Before we start the guided visualization part of this meditation, let’s get comfortable and ask ourselves a few questions.

Please sit or lie comfortably.

Feel your body against the chair…  mat…  mattress…  floor…  or whatever surface you are on.

Feel supported and relaxed in this moment.

Now inhale deeply through your nose and hold the breath for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  and 1.

Release your breath slowly for… 5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

Keep breathing like this…

In for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

Out for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

As you continue to breathe, be mindful of matching your inhales to your exhales…  

Nice and slow…

As you continue to breathe like this, think about what independence means to you.

As you breathe in, ask yourself the following questions.

As you breathe out, listen to whatever answer your body, mind, and soul give you.

Do not judge these answers.  Just let them come and go.

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“What does independence mean to me?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Where in my life have I had to be independent?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“What does independence mean in my relationships?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in my relationships been a positive thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in my relationships been a negative thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Do I need more or less independence in my relationships?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“What does independence mean when it comes to my money or career?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in my money or career been a positive thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in my money or career been a negative thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Do I need more or less independence in my money or career?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“What does independence mean when it comes to family?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in terms of family been a positive thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How has independence in terms of family been a negative thing in my life?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Do I need more or less independence when it comes to family?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Where in my life have I had to do something unpopular?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“When in my life did I ‘just go with the flow’ when I should have stood up for myself?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How did not speaking up for myself impact my life in a positive way?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“How did not speaking up for myself impact my life in a negative way?”

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Where in my life do I need to strike out on my own, or do something unpopular?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself

“Where in my life do I need to follow the herd, or keep quiet?”

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Continue breathing in and out slowly.

Continue matching your inhales with your exhales.

Feel your answers to these questions rise from your feet to your chest.

As you breathe in slowly, see a stream of silver light from your Higher Self, your angels, or the Universe coming in through the crown of your head.

As you breathe out slowly, see this silver light activating these questions and answers in your chest.

Breathe in, taking a few moments to circulate the air in your chest.

Breathe out, releasing these questions and answers.

Keep matching your inhales to your exhales as we scan your body for tension and stress.

Breathe in, feeling your feet and calves.

Exhale.  Allow your feet and your calves to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your knees and thighs.

Exhale.  Allow your knees and thighs to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your hips and butt.

Exhale.  Allow your hips and butt to tighten and relax.  It’s okay if a little air comes out.

Breathe in, feeling your stomach and lower back.

Exhale.  Allow your stomach and lower back to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your chest, heart, and shoulders.

Exhale.  Allow your chest and shoulders to clench and relax.  Allow your heart to just be.

Breathe in, feeling your hands and arms.

Exhale.  Allow your hands and arms to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your throat and jaw.

Exhale.  Allow your throat and jaw to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your head, nose, and eyes.

Exhale.  Allow your head, nose, and eyes to release tension.  Maybe even some tears.  

Let it all go.

Now see yourself in a bookshop.  Notice the shelves of books.  What types of books are in this shop?  Is the shop cluttered, or well-organized?  How is this shop decorated?

As you look around the shop, you see a door in the back.  What does this door look like?

See a sign on the door.  What does it say?

Visualize yourself moving towards the door.  How does the air feel around you?  How do you feel as you move towards the door?

Feel yourself opening the door.  What does the door handle look like?  Is the door heavy or light?  How do you feel as you open this door?

See yourself walking into an open area in a lush countryside.  The sun is shining brightly, but it is neither too hot nor too cold.

Take a moment to look at all of the plants and animals around you. 

You are in the middle of a fertile and fruitful garden.  Take a moment to look at every detail of the garden.

What plants are being grown?  Are they flowers?  Fruits and vegetables?  Trees?  Vines?

Is the garden neatly planned out in precise rows, carefully marked out?  Or is it more sprawling and natural?

How do you feel in this garden?

As you look around, a gaggle of butterflies flutters around you.  They settle on your shoulders, your hands, and your head.

Feel the butterflies on your upper body and their curious flutters as they fly around you, getting a closer look.  What color are the butterflies?  

You hear a woman’s voice behind you.  She asks you if you are enjoying the garden.  As you turn and greet her, you notice that she has a falcon on her hand.  This woman is beautifully dressed and has a wise smile.

You greet her politely and ask for her name.  Who is this woman?  What does she say to you?

The butterflies have now settled in a straight line from your head, 

To your heart,

To your stomach.

Feel a line of energy coming through the top of your head,

To your heart,

To your stomach.

What color is the energy?  How does it feel in your body?

The well-dressed woman looks at you and smiles knowingly.  She then tells you what this energy means for you.

Take a few moments to listen to her message, feel it resonate 

In your head,

In your heart,

And in your stomach.

What does the woman say to you?  What message is this energy trying to give you?

The woman lovingly places her free hand on your heart, causing the butterflies to flutter away.

She smiles and looks you right in your eyes.  You and this kind woman hold eye contact.  You can feel her energy, 

Her wisdom, 

And her independence.

How does her energy feel when it is looking into her eyes?

What do you see when you look into her eyes?  

The woman removes her hand from your heart and turns towards a small patch of garden.  In this patch of garden, you see various clay pots of healing herbs and crystals.

The woman gestures for you to place your hands in these pots of herbs and crystals.

Feel a loving, healing energy enter through your hands,

Move up your arms,

Awaken and energize your shoulders,

Move up your neck, opening and energizing your throat,

Feel this energy awaken your mind,

Feel as this energy travels down your spine and into your chest,

Feel this energy travel around your ribcage, awakening and opening your heart,

Traveling down to your stomach,

Down into your hips, pelvis, and buttocks,

Feel this energy travel down your thighs, 

Knees,

And calves.

Feel this energy in your feet, grounding you.

Feel this energy grounding you through the bottoms of your feet and the base of your spine,

Feel the energy in the base of your spine and bottoms of your feet connect you to the center of the Earth,

The pure Earth energy awakening you and helping you focus on the present moment.

The hawk on the wise woman’s hand releases a small scroll from its talon, as it flies to her shoulder.

The woman smiles and tells you this message is from one of your guides.  Excited, you ask the woman who this guide is.

What answer does this woman give you?

She then nods slightly and reads from the scroll.  What is the message on this scroll?

As the kind woman reads from the scroll, how do you feel?  

Take a moment to absorb the message as you breathe in for 5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

Now breathe out for 5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

As good as it feels to be in the garden with the wise and kind woman, it is now time for you to ask her one final question.  

You can ask her anything you like.

The woman pauses before responding.  What answer does she give you?  How does this answer make you feel?

The woman clasps both of your hands in hers.  You can feel her energy flowing 

Up your arms, 

Across your shoulders,

Into your heart,

And into your head.

How does this energy feel in your body?  Is it warm?  Comfortable?  Or is there something that makes you feel hurt or scared?

The kind woman smiles at you and lets you know that you are welcome to come back anytime, but it’s time for you to leave.

You thank this kind woman and give her a hug.  

After you separate from this woman’s hug, look around.  What can you see around you?  How does it feel to be in this garden?

This woman gently shows you to the door, where you entered the garden.

You open the door.  How does it feel when you open it?

You walk back into the bookshop and close the door behind you, grateful for the messages you have been given.

Look around the bookshop.  Make note of anything in the bookshop that may have not been there before.  

How do you feel being back in the bookshop?

You remember the messages the woman and your guides gave to you.  You smile, knowing that you can return any time you want and that you can use these messages in your waking life.

It is time to leave the bookshop, so take one last look around.

As you walk towards the exit, become aware of your breathing.

There are five steps to the exit of the bookshop.

With each step towards the exit, take another breath.

Breathing in…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Four steps left…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Three steps left…

Breathing in.,.. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Two steps left…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

One last step…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Love is Dead: Spicevicious and Marshall Delaware Take on the Future of Long-Term Relationships in the New Normal (™)

With Super Special Guest, Marshall Delaware

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here.  Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state.  **I updated the news and resource page.  I have updated the disaster hotlines page with some links to online support groups and state-specific stuff.  Sorry to be so slow.

(Another) DISCLAIMER:  Any and all information presented in this article is for satire, educational, and entertainment purposes ONLY.  There are a ton of hyperlinks in this article for you to get a little more context.  You really need to research these issues for yourself before coming to any conclusion.  Please, please, please DO NOT make any major life decisions based ONLY on what some psychic says.  Whether you agree or disagree with anything presented here, feel encouraged to research the issues for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

I am tardy yet again.  Marshall Delaware originally concocted the idea for this article in October, which is around the time I began my current job.  My job is great, buuuttt it’s a lot like Anthony attempting to use Strega Nona’s magic spaghetti pot.  This means I don’t always have the energy or focus that these posts deserve.  I’m slowly working through it.  However, this does not change the fact that Marshy D’s brilliance got delayed to an almost rude level.

Being friends with Marshall Delaware, aka G.G. MacLeod has its perks.  Over the last 20 years, I’ve noticed these perks are multilayered, much like Carl Jung’s iceberg theory of consciousness.  There’s the obvious, like his badass advice and free copies of his fucking awesome historical fiction.  The second layer is the stuff that should be obvious, but is below the surface because it’s unexpectedly wholesome.  For example, the dude may not always agree with me, but he gets me.  When he doesn’t think my logic holds water, he will make an effort to figure out what drove me to come to such a conclusion.  We posted way less frequently than we planned to at the beginning of 2020, but Emcee MD was completely understanding about it.  (The lack of posts was almost entirely my fault.  I could have done more to work around my lack of energy.)  But the part that really sinks the emotional Titanic is when he sums up a cultural experience in one acerbic sentence.

I still get the giggles when I think about his line “vomit up some pithy love bomb on Instagram” from our last relationship post.  It IS rather descriptive of those Hallmark-on-MDMA posts about how your friend’s next ex “changed my life” or those times when merely changing your status to “In a Relationship” just doesn’t get you enough attention, umm, I mean—just doesn’t feel official enough.  Only you can decide whether your over-the-top, obnoxious relationship posts are massive over compensation, covert shade, or basically well-intentioned.  

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, back to the lecture at hand…

A couple weeks later, I was still laughing about his observations on performative romance when good ol’ Marsh sent me this here Vanity Fair piece about the possible death of relationships.  Here were my main takeaways from this article:

  • Forget orange.  Tinder has turned being superficial into the new black.
  • Everyone is constantly on the lookout for the next best thing.  Dating has become more like extreme couponing than the process necessary to secure a long term relationship.
  • Quantity trumps quality.  The days of dudes high-fiving each other over conquests are back, baby.  That seems to only be a cis thing, however.  Pay attention because I may be revisiting that one.
  • The courting texts only go downhill from “Netflix and chill?” and “DTF?”  Apparently it’s no longer bad manners to ask a virtual stranger if they want to do the horizontal mambo, or is it…?
  • Even though they’re talking a rather Ancient Roman game, Millennials are having less sex than previous generations.  Perhaps dick pics aren’t a turn-on.  That one was free.
  • Desire for commitment and degree of entitlement have an inverse relationship to each other.  With the increase of *ahem* “willing options”, certain daters—mostly men, according to the article—are feeling more and more entitled to instant gratification with the hottest possible partner.  This is definitely warping expectations when you get into a relationship.  It’s kinda like walking into MacDonald’s and constantly demanding a wagyu steak in under five minutes, but only being willing to pay $10.  “Pussy Affluenza” is as clever a phrase as it is disturbing.  Kudos, Amy Watanabe.

Consider the article reason 1,000,001 why I’m grateful for my husband.  

Anyway, Marshall Delaware suggested we explore what post-COVID-19 relationships will look like.  Sick bastard.  I’ll pack my ulcers with enough Pepto to tackle this in a bit, but first…

Dare to Love- Love to Dare, Marshall Delaware Tackles the Question of Whether or Not Cupid Has Been Kiboshed as a Herald to the Emergence of the Boring 20’s.

Ah, springtime, at last you grace us with one of your sneaky sunny smiles as the snow evaporates, exposing all of the dogshit that has been hiding for months in the yards of random strangers. An apt, albeit disgusting metaphor for today’s reading. Traditionally in the spring our thoughts turn to baseball and love. Well, I suppose there’s going to be some kind of a baseball season, whether or not it’s any exciting during these apparent end times, is debatable, so that just leaves the other issue, love. Is it dead? Has it been dumped in a shallow grave just outside of town after being brutally fucked up by nihilism and his evil twin sister, narcissism? It kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it? 

If you gave evolutionary mating strategies an unlimited amount of meth and molly is that what’s happening right now? Women are “getting the bag” and men are getting “red pilled”, or at least that’s what I’ve been seeing on that TooYoob thingy. Polyamory is becoming more socially acceptable and the MGTOW guys are accusing any dude with a regular chick as a “simp” and they’re denouncing PUA’s as “p-sleeve beggars”, which I guess is a highly motivated simp, or something. Women over 30 are lamenting the scarcity of quality men and they’ve deemed that 80% of the dudes on dating apps are below average on the attraction scale. Really, 80%? Seems a tad high, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe our definition of love has been scuttled because our expectations have been warped and inflated by social media, shitty movies, and the obsession that many people have inculcated for looking at other people’s FookBace accounts and allowing themselves to be sucked into believing that everyone is happy but them. If only someone were to make a documentary about this phenomenon. They could call it a social dilemma or something like that.

Anyway, I’m a tarot-slinger and that’s why you’ve been reading me on Spicy’s blogs, so I’m gonna whip out me deck and we’re gonna see if love is indeed nakedly bound with duct tape, gagged with its own soiled undergarments, and is now pushing up the proverbial daisies in some isolated forest just outside of town while nihilism and his evil twin sister, narcissism are cavorting about the foliage postulating about how nothing matters except for what’s good for them.

Are you ready? Let’s do it.

Death (Reversed)

8 of Swords (Reversed)

3 of Cups (Reversed)

The Tower

6 of Wands (Reversed)

Wow, yikes. Geez, uhm, well the prognosis isn’t looking too good. The first card pretty says it all like a cake made out of love’s rotting flesh while the other four cards are the poop-esque frosting that’s coating it.

Death (Reversed)- “Disaster, political upheaval, revolution, anarchy. Death of political figure. Temporary stagnation. Tendency towards inertia.” (A Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray. This is the original tome that every tarot slinger starts out with and for good reason.)

Only one of these five cards is good and that’s the 8 of Swords (Reversed). That one deals with a release from fear, freedom, and the possibility of new beginnings. The potential is there. The opportunities are available all around you, whoever you are, but what good are those positive situations if you’re going to allow nihilism and his evil twin sister, narcissism to spit-roast your perception of the current landscape. When “we” becomes “me”, then it’s just going to become a competition to see who gets the last laugh, or at least hits the eject button before that Roman-style betrayal hits them between the shoulderblades. There’s a lot of misery, a lot of loneliness, and a lot of angry people who are striving to convince themselves that they somehow got screwed by social media, and the entertainment industry in general in this reading.

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

The solution is a lot simpler than you think and its low risk. It doesn’t even cost much money. The next time you see somebody in the real world who looks interesting to you, fucking talk to them. Say hello, make a comment about the weather, toss out a compliment about their fucking shoes or something. Shoot the shit with that other person until you feel as those you have some kind of a handle on their basic self. Then, if you decide that that person’s an asshole, move on to someone else. If they seem alright, keep talking to them, and don’t be afraid to talk to other people as well that you think are interesting. Sooner or later, you’re going to come across someone who you think is interesting who also thinks that you’re interesting too. And then take a chance and call your shot because I’m here to tell you, nihilism and his evil twin sister, narcissism are not your fucking friends, and a diet of steady schadenfreude is going to lead to psycho-spiritual malnutrition, and then you’re just going to starve to a slow and tortuous death. Do something, do anything, and talk to anyone who seems interesting to you. Otherwise, you’re fucked and you’re the one that’s going to end up buried in the forest.

Anyway, that’s as stern as I can make this warning. All warnings can be avoided but I can’t make you do anything. We really are in dark times and you’re the one with the candle and the matches, not me, not Spicy, and certainly not anyone that you’ve been watching on social media. This is Marshall Delaware telling you to do the best that you can to be the best that you can.

Good luck.

Is Spice Suspending Judgment, or Having Cold Feet…?

Well, that was bleak.  

The video brings up a few important points:

  • We all walk around with a set of expectations, only some of which do we consciously understand.
  • Traditional relationships are based on the expectations downloaded into us by our respective societies.  The need to survive and have at least one child who survives some heinous plague or war originally shaped these traditional expectations.
  • The bar on relationship expectations got raised as life got easier.  We the Collective (™) got soft and started expecting the fucking moon.
  • Expectations aren’t necessarily based on reality.
  • The honeymoon phase eventually dies.
  • If your relationship is based on the honeymoon phase, your relationship will push up daisies too.

And that doesn’t even factor in all of the crazy-making shit pebbles taking shots at modern relationships like methed-out kangaroos.  These amped-up marsupials include:

Simply put, the younger generations have seen Gen X and the Boomers trudge through some miserable relationships.  Many of these kids have divorced parents, or parents who couldn’t stand each other enough to get married in the first place.  They have seen the Disney and rom com dreams of their ancestors get crushed under the weight of volatile social and economic conditions.  In their lifetimes, the concept of gender and sexuality fluctuated more than your mom’s weight around the holidays.  Oh, and their anxiety is through the roof.

Gosh, who wouldn’t want a piece of that hot, dystopian action?  Why would you even want to go the traditional route, when it doesn’t seem emotionally or financially sound?  

Weeeellllllll, we’re not always a species that makes the most *ahem* logical decisions.  And this pandemic is forcing us to be more flexible, which is a major key to having a happy relationship.  Know what else makes for a good relationship?  Communication.  You know, the stuff that this slowed-down coronavirus dating is forcing people to do.  The Center for Digital Future reported 41% of married couples polled said their relationships improved over the course of the pandemic due to the need to band together, communicate, and be flexible to achieve a common goal.

But let’s see what the cards say…

I asked the cards what long term relationships are going to look like over the next two years and I got:  Princess of Cups (young water sign person, beginnings of intuition, someone who likes fairy tales, gentle person, someone with a great imagination, and creativity that needs to be acknowledged); the Emperor (number 4, a warning against being too rigid, the need for discipline, self-discipline, “daddy issues,” problems with authority, and the need to take control of one’s life); Strength (number 8, courage, the need to overcome parts of the self that are no longer useful, the need to use self-love and forgiveness, ability to overcome difficult situations, and resolving problems with respect); and the Queen of Pentacles (earth sign female, someone focused on keeping up appearances, needing comfort or luxury, detail-oriented, and possibly being of service to those around one).  This spread is either a giant face palm or a ray of hope, but I’ll let you be the judge.  The lowest ranking card in this spread is the Princess of Cups, and even she is a court card.  There isn’t a set numerological theme in the spread, but it is noteworthy that we have 4 energy and 8 energy.  In this spread, our 4 energy comes to us in the form of the Emperor, aka the resident control freak of the tarot.  Strength brings the 8 energy—or the practical, karmic energy that reminds us of cause and effect—to the party.  You will get out exactly what you put into your relationships, so be smart and examine your motives and behaviors now.  I feel like the dreamy nature of the Princess of Cups and the Emperor speak to the human need to stubbornly cling to our fairy tales and romantic notions.  The Queen of Pentacles is further calling out our need to keep up appearances, no matter what reality throws at us.  I’m a little concerned by the lack of actual romance in this spread, but the Strength card gives me some hope.  I feel like Strength is telling us, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  Long term relationships are here to stay, but they will need to adapt to things like evolving gender roles, evolving views of gender itself, all the fuck-upedness from recent sociopolitical issues–*cough* COVID and Post-Trump fall out—and generational issues.  The cringey thing about this spread has to be the underlying push-pull between our emotional needs (Princess of Cups), our need to have things exactly our way (the Emperor), and how we think things should be (Queen of Pentacles).  The good news is, you have plenty of choices and long term relationships will always be a thing.  The bad news is, We the Collective (™) may be too fucking stubborn to make the most of what we were given. 

So what about relationships where traditional roles weren’t the norm to begin with?  Where does that leave more short term arrangements?  Will things be different for the polyamorous?  Are friends with benefits still going to be a thing, or will less committed relationships go extinct?

I asked the cards what less traditional relationships are going to look like over the next two years and I got:  Death (number 13, transition to a new phase, rebirth, getting rid of old attachments, the need to examine habits and relationships that no longer serve one, and inevitable change); Two of Cups (number 2, relationships based on friendship, friendship, new partnerships, feeling balanced within oneself, renewal of a current relationship, and feeling balanced); Knight of Pentacles (earth sign male, studious person who takes their time, reliable and trustworthy person, hard-working person, and someone mistaken for boring or slow); and the Moon (number 18, mood swings, intuition from dreams, flashes of intuition, hormonal   fluctuations, things that are hidden or secret, the need for self-reflection, the need to honor one’s emotions, the need to understand one’s emotional triggers, and creativity).  I feel like these are the types of relationships and arrangements that will take the biggest hit and here’s why: when shit gets unfamiliar, it is human nature to cling hard to tradition and what’s most familiar.  You can see shades of this with how the censorship pendulum is swinging, how conservatives are playing the victim card, and how no one is really meeting each other in the middle.  Getting out of any of these ruts would involve trying on new behaviors, thoughts, and routines.  But let’s keep it to what the cards say, eh?  Ummm…  The most relationship-focused card in this spread is the Two of Cups and I consider it a pretty weak love card.  However, the type of relationships it signifies—relationships based on friendships and mutual respect—is pretty encouraging.  I feel like the whole FWB phenomenon might go a little more underground, thanks to the Moon and Death.  I think this is a pity because the Two of Cups—relationships of mutual respect—and the Knight of Pentacles—patience and hard work—show more traditional people that they have a lot to learn from these nontraditional relationships.  

As I see it, these cards give us three big takeaways regarding the future of relationships:

  • Love is not dead.  Love never fucking existed, as our collective notion of love was based on projections, expectations, ego, and socioeconomic contracts and necessity.
  • The quality of your relationships will be determined by your self-knowledge, flexibility, ability to communicate and respect another person, and willingness to put in some work.
  • Nontraditional relationships will show us the value of basing a relationship on communication, patience, and mutual respect.  In fact, I see many more lasting relationships forming from these nontraditional relationships than from traditional means.

I don’t see the Marshall Delaware Plan—putting down your fucking phone and getting to know people in the wild—picking up steam any time soon.  I also don’t see declining birth rates changing any time soon, which tells me our current patterns of selfishness, impatience, and anxiety won’t be changing either.  However, I do see a small fraction of the population looking inward.  This inner work may plant some seeds.  And who knows?  Maybe a few of these seeds will grow into trees where love birds build nests.  I just don’t see as many of these seeds taking root over the next five years.

PLEASE READ:  I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future.  I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader.  Please understand, this isn’t personal.  I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now.  If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware.  You can email him at ggm92666@yahoo.ca  Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze.  You can find her right here.

If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest.  Hey, sharing is caring.  

Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help.  If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here.  Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets.  You can donate here.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia?  Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires.  Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires.  You can get those here. 

If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection.  Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here.  Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com

 P.S.  I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!!  I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here.  Please read and review it.  Thank you!!

Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod?  Check out our latest political collab.  He’s coming back in the near future, FYI.  If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here.  It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried.  He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four is right here.  And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Stop Being an Ingrate #3: March 2021 Gratitude Spell

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here.  Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state.  **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now.

Raise your hand if you:

  • Want to slap the shit out of a coworker.
  • Are wondering if the rainbow-haired kid at Starbucks is out to get you.
  • Are feeling like being with your oldest friends is about as comfortable as a wool sweater in mid August.
  • You get random psychic flashes about everything from what your friend will order for lunch to the name of a girl your brother will meet six days from now.
  • Feel like old wounds are coming to the surface.
  • Are getting a little needy in order to not feel lonely or rejected.
  • Have sudden insights about painful events from your past.

The fault, dear reader, is not in our stars, but we ourselves…

Actually, the problem is both the stars and ourselves.  We can deal with ourselves in a little bit, but let’s take a look at the two major things going on with the stars right now:

Mercury in Pisces:  Mercury, Gemini’s ultra-talkative home planet, entered super psychic Pisces March 15th.  Considering we’ll be in this energy until April 4th, we may as well take a look at how the planet of communication (Mercury) will mix with chill, intuitive Pisces.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • Your heart is going to rule your head.  Emotional decisions and daydreaming are pretty much a sure thing.
  • Vivid and prophetic dreams.  Now might be a good time to keep a dream journal.
  • A wee bit of extra paranoia.
  • Difficulty staying focused.
  • A surge of creative energy.

If you want a quick rundown of what Mercury in Pisces will do to your astrological sign, check out this article.  This video also breaks down what you can expect through April 4th:

Full Moon in Libra:  On March 28th, the moon will be at its fullest phase in the relationship-oriented sign of Libra.  This sounds completely romantic on the surface, but would I be Spice if I didn’t burst your bubble?  No.  No, I would not.  But I burst your bubble because I care, damn it.  Anyone who has dealt with another human being for more than five minutes will tell you where there are relationships, there are complications.  Lots and lots of complications.  Complications like these:

  • A strong longing for companionship of any kind.  
  • The urge to put a ring on it, if you’re already in a relationship.
  • An annoyingly clear view of the differences between you and the ones you love.
  • Being in the right mindset to make long-term financial investments or somehow fix your finances, which might be the one aspect of this crazy nesting vibe.
  • Feeling your old emotional wounds like they just happened 10 minutes ago.  Yes, even the emotional wounds from other lifetimes.
  • Understanding relationship dynamics, even the toxic ones.

Why yes, this full moon is totally sounding like the diary entry that inspired yet another shitty Evanescence song.  I assure you, though, this mopey moon is part of Libra’s ruling planet Venus’ journey this year.  Yay…?  This video explains it much better than I ever could:

I’m not trying to call you names, but perhaps you’re a little sensitive right about now.  We all are.  What’s more, Valentine’s Day is five weeks in the rearview, but the way we choose to deal with each other is going to be front and center for a hot second. Buuuutttt since this is your cranky Auntie Spice—me, in case you forgot—you already know what I’m going to say.

Deal with yourself and your own emotions before you even think about telling the difficult person in your life to fuck off.  You need to get right with yourself before opening your damn mouth.  The Buddhists, Stoics, and I all agree on this point.

Buckle up, Buttercup, and let’s see what the Stoics would have to say about this.

The Stoic Guide to Difficult Emotions

Although popular culture has come to equate Stoicism with emotionless blank screen, Stoicism provides a simple blueprint for dealing with our emotions.  This comes in quite handy, if you consider that We the Collective (™) is currently living in the reactionary circle of Hell.  The key to coping is to apply the Four Virtues to your own mind and heart before assuming you know why others are being difficult.

(NOTE: Last month’s gratitude spell gave a more detailed explanation of Stoicism’s Four Virtues.  You can check that post out here.)

Before we delve into how to use each virtue to deal with yourself and others, we should probably talk about the concept of mindfulness.  Mindfulness refers to present moment awareness, or the ability to put your full attention onto what you are thinking, feeling, and doing in that moment.  More than just a neat phrase Western culture co-opted from Buddhism, mindfulness involves stepping back from all attachments, this includes any defining labels and pronouns, your sociopolitical beliefs, and expectations.  Achieving this level of detachment requires focus, discernment, and the willingness to drop your guard.  Here’s a video that gives more information on how the Stoics viewed mindfulness:

For those of you who don’t feel like sitting through a video, the Stoic brand of mindfulness involves these key concepts:

  • Keep your attention on the present moment.  You know how I’m always preaching about meditation and understanding what’s going on with you so you can let it the fuck go?  I’m not just batting you around like a catnip toy for my sadistic pleasure.  I am also showing you how to release your mental clutter so that you have more space to experience the present for what it is, rather than what you want it to be.  If you are able to meet any given moment without being set off by old mind fucks or emotional triggers, you are free to make your best moves.  (Those best moves are any decisions that not only help you the most in the moment and for the foreseeable future, but also the decisions that don’t incur more of a karmic tar pit.)
  • Make the choice to not be a petty dickhead.  Excellence is a habit, built on daily choices.  Optimistic pragmatism is a daily choice that often feels like a struggle.  Not being a gargantuan asshole is kind of like the intersection of excellence and optimistic pragmatism, as it is built on a series of choices that leads to better habits.  And not being an asshole can feel like a struggle, especially when you are faced with someone else’s inner asshole.  Let’s call this the Nam-ASS-te Principle (™).  Not only does the asshole in me recognize the asshole in you, but acting on the asshole impulses in me only enhances the asshole impulses in you.  How much angry asshole does there really need to be?
  • Doing right is more important than being right.  If you haven’t read this piece by Marshall Delaware, please do.  He breaks down what it means to do the right thing, even when the right thing robs you of a sense of self-satisfaction or revenge.  The sooner you give up on your need to take a few slick jabs at someone who may deserve it, the more you free yourself up to live a life that’s one contact-free slick jab to your haters. 
  • Be as cool with your life in the good times as you are in the bad.  This one might be easier said than done, especially in the middle of some anxiety-producing world events or when your personal life is falling to pieces.  Dude, I get it.  I’m not going to tell you why I get it, but just know that you’re not the first person to get throat-punched by the Universe and you won’t be the last.  One of the purposes of this monthly gratitude spell is to help you figure out how you can use the bullshit in your life to fertilize crops that might bring you contentment, stability, or whatever your anxious monkey mind is keeping you from finding.
  • Recognize how your thoughts impact your life.  This one’s pretty self-explanatory.  There isn’t a lot I can say about this concept that my humble gratitude spell doesn’t illustrate.

So what does all this Stoic-approved not giving a fuck look like in terms of the Four Virtues?  Here’s the virtue-by-virtue picture:

  • Wisdom.  The Stoics believed wisdom is the ability to discern between what is good, what is bad, and what doesn’t matter.  Applying this to your emotions might look like asking yourself if your anxiety is really making anything better, or if you’re using your anger as a crutch or as fuel to move forward.  Or maybe, after a little introspection, you decide that being so laser-focused on having a relationship or random hook ups is keeping you from actually enjoying the people that come into your life.  Wisdom in terms of dealing with other people might mean you set boundaries regarding the friends who have different beliefs than you, such as you can talk about anything, but politics.  Or it might mean you will no longer overlook a relative’s anger or casual racism because it leaves you feeling like shit after you leave.
  • Courage.  If wisdom is discerning between the relevant and irrelevant, positive and negative, courage means having the gumption to act on it.  It’s one thing to say that you need better boundaries regarding work—such as not working till 10 PM every night, not letting Sleazy Jeff from Marketing take credit for yet another one of your ideas, or not taking calls on your day off—but it’s quite another to put these things into motion.  
  • Justice.  The Stoics weren’t talking about Twitter chest-thumping and using buzzwords to tell someone they’re an idiot when they said justice is a virtue.  Although justice very much speaks to one’s sense of morality, the Stoic concept of justice is more about understanding the impact of our actions on ourselves and others.  Justice is doing what’s right—as well as what’s right for you—without losing sight of the fact that it’s not all about you.  Contrary to what you see on social media–*cough* fucking cesspool *cough*—justice and ego don’t like being in the same room.
  • Temperance.  Moderation is a common synonym for temperance.  This means having the self-control and self-discipline to acknowledge your emotions, but not let them dictate your actions.  Think of your emotions as messengers, rather than strict codes of conduct.  This might mean not popping off on social media like some public figures, waiting a day before responding to a particularly triggering situation, restraining yourself from getting drunk and swiping right, or not giving your spouse an ultimatum to either do the dishes or get a divorce.  

NOTE: Sometimes living these virtues means admitting you are wrong or maybe didn’t have all the information.

But the purpose of this spell is to achieve these things with gratitude.  What does gratitude have to do with not pressing the red button on some area of your life?  Simple.  The act of meditating on gratitude helps your primitive emotional brain take a fucking seat so your more rational prefrontal cortex can get you through this.  A gratitude spell, meditation, or practice helps you take stock of what you have so that you can use it more effectively.  Also, keeping an air of serenity about you totally fucks with reactionary people.  

In short, gratitude can help move the needle to a more neutral position so that you can get a better feel for other factors at play.

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, let’s get on with the spell.  

First, The Usual Ground Rules…

Again, these are from my original post on gratitude because the rules still apply.  And here they are:

  • First, don’t post this online.  There’s no such thing as a #spiceviciousgratitudechallenge.  That’s played-out, obnoxious, and you look like a smug virtue signaller.  A monthly gratitude list is about you, not others’ opinions of you.
  • Second, if you find yourself super grateful for a person, tell them in private.  Nothing showy.  No posting to their wall or doing it for The ‘Gram.  A simple hug, text, or returning the favor will do.
  • Third, paying it forward is totally encouraged, but do it as anonymously as possible.  If you’re grateful for your mental health, consider a small donation to NAMI.  If you’re grateful for your pets, maybe buy a shirt from Arm the Animals, make a donation to an organization like the Humane Society.  For those of you grateful for the time you spent with a recently deceased loved one, consider donating to an organization that seeks to find a cure for what they died of or buying something from the Order of the Good Death store.
  • Fourth, try paying at least three compliments a day without context or provocation.  Just a simple, random kind word in three situations.  Or show those you love affection at least once a day.  It’s good for your nervous system.
  • Lastly, practice a short mindfulness meditation before you write the list.  I like this one:

In Case You Forgot How to Use This as a Way to Shake Off Old Patterns…

Here are my suggestions:

  • Do this spell from the end of the month until the new moon.  If you’re looking to change your patterns, I’d suggest combining this spell with this Fortuna new moon spell every month.
  • After you complete your monthly journal activity, fold it and put it on a window sill that gets plenty of sun and moonlight.  Place a few crystals on the paper and let it charge for the entire time you do your spell.  
  •  If this is part of a long-term ritual to get rid of old emotional baggage or karma, burn your journal activity after the new moon and plant it near a tree.
  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS FINISH YOUR NEW MOON SPELL BY DEEP CLEANING AT LEAST ONE ROOM OR CLUTTERED AREA OF YOUR HOUSE.  Cleaning after a new moon spell shows your guides that you are serious about clearing out old karma, lessons, patterns, and behaviors.  Check out this post on mindful cleaning for inspiration. 

Gratitude Spell for March 2021

What You Need:

  • A lavender candle and incense.  It sets the mood and gives your more primitive brain something to focus on.
  • A notebook, journal, or paper.  I mean, you could paint tiny pictures, do an interpretive dance, knit a sweater, make a sculpture, etc. to answer these questions, but paper’s good too.
  • Some water or tea to drink.  It reinforces the whole flushing the system thing.
  • A pen, crayons, pencils, or whatever it is you write with.  This is not a telepathic challenge.
  • A conducive environment.  This turkey won’t fly if you’re trying to do this in the middle of a knife fight.
  • Crystals of your choice.  These are to charge your paper during the hours when you are not doing the spell.

What You Will Do:

  1. Start with a quick meditation to clear your mind.  You can use any meditation you like, but I have been using this one lately.
  2. Set out the offer stone, incense, candle, and your journaling supplies.
  3. Give thanks to your guides and your Higher self.  Tell them about your offering.  A simple gratitude invocation is: “Blessed Guides, please accept this humble offering.  I give thanks to you for filling my life, my space, and my aura with your divine light.”
  4. Light your candle and incense.  Visualize your stone and objects absorbing your intentions and filling with your Higher Self and your guides’ inspiration and guidance.
  5. Answer at least three of the journal questions at each sitting.  After you answer your journal questions, visualize a white and silver bubble around your paper.  Feel your guides and Higher Self energizing this paper.
  6. Set your intention to clear patterns that are no longer serving you, such as:
    1. Giving too much in relationships
    2. Bad boundaries
    3. Spending more than you can afford
    4. Self-sabotage 
    5. Holding onto friendships, relationships, online connections, etc that leave you feeling sad or drained
    6. Caring too much about what others think
  7. Visualize yourself deep cleaning these patterns and your answers to this month’s journal questions out of your life.  You can use scrubbing, sweeping, power washing, or any image that connects you to the feeling of taking action to improve your mental and emotional house.  
  8. Allow yourself some time to make note of any thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations that come to mind.
  9. Thank your Higher Self and your guides.  Close out the ritual in any way you see fit.

Journal Questions #3: Difficult Emotions

  1.  What are emotions that you find positive or look forward to feeling?  What is positive about these emotions?
  2. Describe the last time you felt one of these positive emotions.  What was the situation?  Who else was involved?  
  3. What were some thoughts you had the last time you had one of these positive emotions?  How did your thoughts impact your behavior?
  4. Think of the last time you experienced one of these positive emotions.  What was something positive that came of this situation?
  5. Think of the times you have experienced these positive emotions.  What was something negative or challenging that happened as a result of these emotions?
  6. What are some emotions that you find negative, challenging, or avoid at all costs?  What do you find negative or challenging about these emotions?
  7. Describe something you have done to avoid an emotion you find negative or challenging.  What made you want to avoid this emotion?  Was avoiding this emotion worth it to you?  Why or why not?
  8. Think about the first time you experienced one of the emotions you find negative or challenging.  What happened?  Who else was involved?  How do you think this experience influences your behavior?
  9. What are some thoughts you typically have when experiencing emotions you find negative or challenging?  How do these thoughts influence your behavior?  Do these thoughts contribute to you avoiding these emotions or situations?  If so, how?
  10. Think of the last few times you avoided or reacted badly to one of these negative or challenging emotions.  What was something positive that came out of that situation?
  11. Think of the last few times you avoided or reacted badly to one of these negative or challenging emotions.  How did this situation hurt you or turn out badly?
  12. Think about your answers to these questions.  What are the most negative or challenging thoughts you have related to your emotions?  
  13. Think about the challenging or negative thoughts you listed in the previous question.  What are some things from your life that make these thoughts true or accurate
  14. What are some things from your life that make these challenging or negative thoughts inaccurate or untrue?
  15. Based on your answers to these questions, what are some more accurate or neutral thoughts you can use to replace the negative or challenging thoughts you listed?
  16. Based on your answers to these questions, what are at least three things about your  negative or challenging emotions that you are grateful for?  How can you remind yourself of these positive aspects of these emotions this week?  
  17. What is one small thing you can do this week to neutralize or cope with a negative or challenging emotion without avoiding it?  Is this something you are willing to do?  Why or why not?

PLEASE READ:  I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future.  I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader.  Please understand, this isn’t personal.  I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now.  If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware.  You can email him at ggm92666@yahoo.ca  Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze.  You can find her right here.

If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest.  Hey, sharing is caring.  

Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help.  If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here.  Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets.  You can donate here.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia?  Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires.  Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires.  You can get those here. 

If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection.  Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here.  Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com

 P.S.  I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!!  I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here.  Please read and review it.  Thank you!!

Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod?  Check out our latest political collab.  He’s coming back in the near future, FYI.  If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here.  It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried.  He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four is right here.  And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Podcast #2: 3/21/21 King of Pentacles (Generosity)

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

Hello, hello, hello.  You know I’m excited to have you here, right?  Don’t be fooled by the sociopathically polite A.I. robot voice.  I’m fucking excited to have you here, as I love giving you guys a free resource to take care of your mental health and—dare I say it—enhance your intuition.  I’m also tickled as shit to make this sociopathically polite A.I. voice drop F-bombs.

Swearing robots are funny, okay?

As you spend more and more time with my meditations, you might realize that several of these meditations will be based on tarot cards.  Here’s the deal: the tarot is not just a parlor trick or divination tool.  Tarot is great for meditation and self-knowledge too.  I hope to do all 78 cards at some point because I feel like each card has something to say to us.  Also, this is a great way to learn more about tarot whilst performing a little self-care.

Anyhoo, let’s start this off with the mission of this podcast:

I am presenting these meditation scripts to help you do a few things.  Those things are:

  • Decrease anxiety.
  • Increase mindfulness.
  • Decrease confusion and feelings of “stuck-ness”.
  • Increase your intuition and help you act on it.
  • Decrease that nagging feeling you’re not enough.
  • Increase the feeling that you are enough.  Not only are you enough, but perhaps you are not as fucked up as you thought you were.
  • Decrease feeling triggered by things you cannot control.
  • Increase an understanding of what you can control versus what you cannot, along with understanding how you can accept or let go of the rest.
  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Maybe stop some of that self-sabotage we all seem so fond of.
  • Help you create a dialogue with your inner self that increases inner peace, mental clarity, understanding, and self-confidence.

If that sounds like something you can use, please use each meditation every day or night for up to a month.  Be sure to keep a journal so that you can write down your insights and weird dreams each day.

For these tarot meditations, I would suggest consulting a dream dictionary if you see any patterns, colors, or images that seem significant to you.  You can check out the online dream dictionary at www dot Aunty Flo dot com, or you can find a relatively inexpensive dream dictionary on Amazon.  If you decide to meditate like this regularly, a dream dictionary and journal would be a great investment because meditation often brings vivid dreams.

WARNING: Meditation is a great tool for calming your ass down, but it can also bring up a lot of feelings you tried to bury alive.  If at any time you feel triggered during this meditation, please, please, please bring yourself out of it by opening your eyes and focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, taste, or touch around you.

As always, if you like this meditation script, then there may be something else you may like on my blog.  Check me out at https://thespiceisright.wordpress.com/

Now let’s do this, shall we?

King of Pentacles: A Pre-Meditation Explanatory Meditation

Right off the bat, there are a couple things you need to know about the King of Pentacles.  

First, Pentacles are an Earth suit in the tarot.  They represent money, the tangible and physical parts of life, things on the material plane, and slow-moving processes.  Pentacles can also represent physical health.  In astrological terms, they represent Virgos, Capricorns, and Tauruses.  Pentacles are the absolute slowest suit in the tarot.  If your reading contains a lot of Pentacles, you know that you’ll be dealing with a deliberate process, as well as finances or something tactile.

Second, the King of Pentacles is a court card.  In the tarot, can represent people, situations, energies around us, or aspects of our own personalities.  Court cards come in four flavors: Page or Princess, Knight, Queen, and King.  Kings are considered the most mature version of the person, situation, or energy they represent.

In the literal sense, the King of Pentacles can represent a mature earth sign male.  But it doesn’t have to be a male.  King energy is dominantly masculine, which can also mean a female who identifies with masculine energy or energy that is more assertive than normal.  This is the energy of someone who is in charge and knows it.  The suit and other cards in the spread give more context as to what this King will do with his power.

In the positive, Kings take pragmatic, deliberate action that moves the situation to the best possible outcome.  A positive King knows his own strength and does not abuse it.  A good King uses his strength to lift others up, not engage in power struggles.

In the negative, however, Kings are manipulative, bullying assholes.  They know they have the power and don’t care what they have to do to lord it over others.  A negative King will throw his weight around however he can—even if it means emotionally, physically, mentally, or financially abusing others.  A negative King doesn’t care who he hurts and couldn’t give a fuck about the consequences, as long as he gets what he wants and others know who’s pulling the strings.

So what does it mean when you mix King energy with the Pentacles vibe?

If the King of Pentacles is a person, he is most likely more mature and an earth sign (Virgo, Capricorn, or Taurus).  He has great business instincts and is financially secure.  This King likely has the Midas touch when it comes to money and opportunity.  Or he’s a materialistic opportunist.

If the King of Pentacles is a situation or energy, this card represents success in current projects and opportunities that lead to brighter futures.  The energy around this card when it comes to situations is one where hard work and talent lead to recognition and rewards.  The King of Pentacles is a call to keep moving forward, while incorporating an appreciation of what you’ve learned along the way.  This King also reminds us to be mindful of our money and warns against both overspending and being too stingy.

The key words with the King of Pentacles are: 

Generosity.

Professionalism.

Responsibility.

and Pragmatism.

Take a few seconds to reflect on what these words mean to you.

Generosity.

Professionalism.

Responsibility.

and Pragmatism.

Before we start the guided visualization part of this meditation, let’s get comfortable and ask ourselves a few questions.

Please sit or lie comfortably.

Feel your body against the chair…  mat…  mattress…  floor…  or whatever surface you are on.

Feel supported and relaxed in this moment.

Now inhale deeply through your nose and hold the breath for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  and 1.

Release your breath slowly for… 5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

Keep breathing like this…

In for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

Out for…  5…  4…  3…  2…  1…

As you continue to breathe, be mindful of matching your inhales to your exhales…  

Nice and slow…

As you continue to breathe like this, think about what generosity means to you.

As you breathe in, ask yourself the following questions.

As you breathe out, listen to whatever answer your body, mind, and soul give you.

Do not judge these answers.  Just let them come and go.

As you breathe in, ask yourself what generosity means to you.

Breathe out for…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself what does generosity mean in your financial life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity with money has had a positive impact on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity with money has had a negative impact on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how you have used money as a form of affection or to make yourself look good.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how you have financially sabotaged yourself.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself what does generosity mean in your relationships.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how you have demonstrated generosity in your relationships.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how you have withheld your love or generosity in relationships.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity, or lack of generosity, in relationships has had a positive effect on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity, or lack of generosity, in relationships has had a negative effect on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself what generosity means when it comes to how you spend your time.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself where you are spending too much of your time.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself where you are not being generous enough with your time.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity, or lack of generosity, regarding how you spend your time has had a positive effect on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe in, ask yourself how your generosity, or lack of generosity, regarding how you spend your time has had a negative effect on your life.

Breathe out for… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Continue breathing in and out slowly.

Continue matching your inhales with your exhales.

Feel your answers to these questions rise from your feet to your chest.

As you breathe in slowly, see a stream of silver light from your Higher Self, your angels, or the Universe coming in through the crown of your head.

As you breathe out slowly, see this silver light activating these questions and answers in your chest.

Breathe in, taking a few moments to circulate the air in your chest.

Breathe out, releasing these questions and answers.

Keep matching your inhales to your exhales as we scan your body for tension and stress.

Breathe in, feeling your feet and calves.

Exhale.  Allow your feet and your calves to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your knees and thighs.

Exhale.  Allow your knees and thighs to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your hips and butt.

Exhale.  Allow your hips and butt to tighten and relax.  It’s okay if a little air comes out.

Breathe in, feeling your stomach and lower back.

Exhale.  Allow your stomach and lower back to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your chest, heart, and shoulders.

Exhale.  Allow your chest and shoulders to clench and relax.  Allow your heart to just be.

Breathe in, feeling your hands and arms.

Exhale.  Allow your hands and arms to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your throat and jaw.

Exhale.  Allow your throat and jaw to clench and relax.

Breathe in, feeling your head, nose, and eyes.

Exhale.  Allow your head, nose, and eyes to release tension.  Maybe even some tears.  

Let it all go.

Now see yourself in a bookshop.  Notice the shelves of books.  What types of books are in this shop?  Is the shop cluttered, or well-organized?  How is this shop decorated?

As you look around the shop, you see a door in the back.  What does this door look like?

See a sign on the door.  What does it say?

Visualize yourself moving towards the door.  How does the air feel around you?  How do you feel as you move towards the door?

Feel yourself opening the door.  What does the door handle look like?  Is the door heavy or light?  How do you feel as you open this door?

Now visualize yourself walking into a brightly lit room. The feeling is expansive, free, and comfortable.

What are three things you see in this room?

What are three things you can hear in this room?

How do you feel being in this room?

A mature, friendly man appears in front of you.  He is wearing expensive clothes and looks like he takes excellent care of himself.  

This man greets you with a firm handshake and gives you his name.  Pay attention to the name he gives you.

This man asks you what you learned about generosity.  Take a breath and give this man the first answer that comes to mind.  

The man laughs and nods knowingly.  He then studies you carefully and asks, “What do you want to know?”

You take a breath and ask the first question on your heart.

The man pauses before handing you a gold velvet bag.  

Feel the bag in your hands.  How does the velvet feel on your fingers?

You can feel objects in the bag.  What shape are they and how do they feel?

This man laughs and tells you to open the bag, which you do.  What is in this bag?  How do you feel about this gift?

The kind man holds both of your hands in his, as you hold the gift in the gold bag.

You feel energy flowing from his hands into yours, showing you how you can use this gift in your own life.  

Take a moment to think about

What this energy is showing you

How this gift can help you

How you feel about this gift

The kind man smiles and lets go of your hands.  

For a few moments, you and this kind man stare into each others’ eyes.  You feel his energy.  You understand his essence in this moment.

As you keep breathing steadily, slowly, allow yourself to think about 

How it feels to be in this man’s presence.

What the kind man’s energy is trying to tell you.

Any insecurity or discomfort that may come up for you.

What this energy reminds you of.

After a pause, the kind man asks if you have any questions about what you need to do to heal yourself and your future.

Take a deep breath and ask this man the first question that comes out.

Your kind friend smiles and hands you a pink silk bag.

Feel this bag in your hands.  How does the silk feel on your fingers?

You can feel and see the outline of objects in the bag.  How do these objects feel?  What shape are they?

The man nods knowingly and you open the bag.  Hold these gifts in your hands.  

What are they?

How do they feel in your hands?

How do you feel about these gifts?

Again, the man holds your hands in both of his.  He confidently squeezes your hands and says, 

“Take it.”  

“It’s yours.” 

“It has always been yours.”

His energy again flows into your hands,

Up your arms, 

Across your shoulders,

Into your heart,

And into your head.

How does this energy feel in your body?  Is it warm?  Comfortable?  Or is there something that makes you feel hurt or scared?

The kind man smiles at you and lets you know that you are welcome to come back anytime, but it’s time for you to leave.

You thank this kind man and give him a hug.  

After you separate from this man’s hug, look around.  What can you see around you?  How does it feel to be in this room?

The man walks you to the door and you open it.  How does it feel to leave the room right now?

You walk back into the bookshop and close the door behind you, grateful for the gifts you have been given.

Look around the bookshop.  Make note of anything in the bookshop that may have not been there before.  

How do you feel being back in the bookshop?

You look at your hands and see that you are still holding the gold and pink bags the kind man gave to you.  You smile, knowing that you can return any time you want and that you can use these gifts in your waking life.

It is time to leave the bookshop, so take one last look around.

As you walk towards the exit, become aware of your breathing.

There are five steps to the exit of the bookshop.

With each step towards the exit, take another breath.

Breathing in…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out…  5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Four steps left…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Three steps left…

Breathing in.,.. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Two steps left…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

One last step…

Breathing in… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Breathing out… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Tarot Reading of the Week: 3/16/21 – 3/23/21

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here.  Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state.  **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now.  I have 120 more articles that go through the end of May.  Beyond that, I haven’t been able to sort through the info coming out.  Sorry to be so slow.

WARNING:  This is the part of my weekly post where I talk about some pop-psychological and tangentially metaphysical thing.  My belief is I’m not the only one noticing this and I wonder how it will affect the New Normal (™).  I am doing this in the hopes that it is useful for someone.  If you are not that someone, you are more than welcome to skip to the reading.  Please accept my humble apologies if you found this preachy.

I don’t know if I’ll always feel this way, but part of me clings to being highly defensive after the last five years.  I thought the Trump era corrosive sludge finally drained out of my soul and I was ready to receive some feedback, maybe even—gasp—from a stranger on the Internet.

So I posted this episode of my meditation podcast on various mental health and pagan sites.  I’m proud of it, you know?  Why shouldn’t I share it with others?  Feeling like a foal getting to frolic in the sun for the first time, I happily posted a link on a blatantly Wiccan Facebook page.  It took maybe three hours for some Marlon Rando to post the comment, “To each his own, but this is a bunch of New Age BS to me.”

Bruh, are you aware that you’re on a page that extols the wonders of casting spells?!

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, as much as I want to say the fucking absurdity helped it roll off my back, the truth is I responded to troll.  I avoided name-calling and tried not to be too bitchy, but I did point out that psychological studies on whether meditation helps anxiety showed promising results.  I also pointed out meditation is often recommended by mental health professionals for a variety of issues, ranging from PTSD to chronic pain.  (However, the results for chronic pain appear to be mixed.)  

New Age, my ass.

Then again, positive psychology used to be the go-to mood-boosting therapy until it more or less got called out for being a school of thought that encouraged a Stepford-esque, victim-blaming mental prison.  Meditation might be similarly dethroned by 2030.

The bottom line?  Neither me nor the troll deserved the intellectual high ground on that one, which also means perhaps my reaction was possibly too strong for the situation.  I never feel good about myself when I comment online.  Yes, social media is a fetid fucking cesspool.  This bothers me the most when I see my reflection in this fetid fucking cesspool.

I ended up blocking the jackass and wondering if maybe I should spend some time listening to an opinion that might just upset me.  

Enter Dave Ramsey.  Although I gleaned a lot of great tips from his books, these money hacks were almost lost on me due to the suffocatingly Christian overtones from the messenger.  Dave Ramsey is about as likely to charge quartz crystals in the full moon as I am to start believing in Jesus.  This made me wonder two things:

  • Just because I disagree with him, does Dave Ramsey have less right to be proud of his video than I do of my meager podcast?
  • Would me disagreeing with him on a public forum add anything to the conversation, since I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sell him on Jesus being a metaphor or a prophet?

Yeah, that was my thought process before I chose a Dave Ramsey video to watch.  I decided to brace myself because Christians have historically been a little rigid and unkind.  A revolting shame crept over me as I thought about how I might turning into something I detest in others.  Since I have a gross need to punish myself, I chose the Dave Ramsey video entitled What Makes Poor People Poor.  

My stomach churned in preparation.  After all, my observations of conservative Christians pretty much echoed the findings of this study.  In a nutshell, the study found liberals value harm avoidance and equality over rigidity.  Conservatives, on the other hand, are more into blindly obeying authority figures than they are making sure others feel cared for and secure.  They’re out for their piece of the pie and fuck anyone who isn’t loyal to their little clique.  Therefore, I expected Dave Ramsey to launch into a tirade on how poor people just need to work harder and stop being victims.  I expected him to sound like so many people that I’ve had to walk away from because this sentiment appears to seep into all of their interactions.

Alka Seltzer in hand, I watched this video:

The unthinkable happened.  I found myself agreeing with a great deal of what he had to say.  For those of you who don’t want to watch the video, Dave Ramsey takes a pragmatic, yet sympathetic approach.  He believes poverty happens as a result of:

  • Life circumstances
  • A system that favors the rich
  • Lack of financial education in the lower-earning sectors

Ramsey then goes on to cite studies showing conservatives are just as generous as others.  I’m not ready to believe that just yet, as I feel like not being judgmental is a form of generosity, but I did have to think about how I was being unfair to the video.  Considering I know exactly how it feels to be judged—which is why I tend not to have too many deep chats with conservatives, the oppressively religious, or people who love the Second Amendment—perhaps I should have kept a more open mind.  Dave isn’t exactly Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, Glenn Beck, or some televangelist who lacks decency.  Still, it’s really hard to get out of the one-size-fits-all mindset when you see people you used to respect spouting some of the most hateful, ignorant shit known to mankind (my favorite was when someone kept calling me a libtard on FB, but then expected me to donate to their GoFundMe).  (Despite what many think, I’m actually between the middle and the Far Left, rather than the extreme Left.  Make of that what you will.)

Maybe it’s time we all ask ourselves:

  • Where in my life am I being judgmental?
  • When is the first time I can remember making this judgment?
  • Who else in my life makes this judgment?  
  • What are some things I think or say that sound like their judgmental statements?
  • When I think or say these judgmental things, whose voice do I hear?  Is it mine?
  • Why do I believe what I believe?  Have I ever questioned it before?
  • What is my judgment protecting me from? 
  • What would I have to change about my worldview or my life if I found out that I was wrong?

If that got a little deep and you’d rather swim in more soothing waters, check out my latest meditation:

https://anchor.fm/amy-muscarello/embed/episodes/Meditation-Script-1-31421-Letting-Go-esjfir/a-a1ptln

Or check out the following astrological predictions.  This chick is not only a badass reader, but she also has one of the coolest voices on the planet:

As always, I have to mention the MindBody/Wellness Research and Science Network group on Facebook.  The chick who runs it takes an evidence-based approach to holistic topics.  I appreciate her common sense-meets-spirituality way of doing things.  

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know for the week of 3/16/21 – 3/23/21 and I got:  The Empress (number 3, creativity, “mommy issues,” smothering love, nurturing, a productive or fruitful time, possibly pregnancy, and the need to let go of one’s creations); Four of Swords (number 4, sadness, rest after an illness, the need to retreat in order to heal, allow time to heal old wounds, the need to avoid over analyzing, and the need to think things through logically); Princess of Cups (young water sign person, imagination and creativity, a gentle person who enjoys fairy tales, one’s inner child, and the need to have one’s creativity acknowledged); and Three of Swords (number 3, sadness, grief, old emotional wounds, the need to mourn, and a grieving period that brings renewal).  We have a couple themes happening this week.  First, this week will be positively gushing with 3 energy.  This is represented at the beginning and end of the spread, with the Empress and Three of Swords.  In numerology, 3 energy is positive, understanding, and wise.  Think of the famous trinities, such as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or birth, life and death.  Three is also considered the number of good fortune, so it makes sense that 3 energy is the energy of good fortune.  Considering the other two themes we have—sadness and creativity—I feel like the 3 energy of this week has more to do with understanding and finding harmony than it does with feeling lucky.  But whatever grills your cheese.  Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, our Minor Arcana cards are both sadness and time-out cards from the suit of Swords, which is our suit of mental processes and ideas.  This tells me you may be a little in your head and prone to analysis paralysis this week.  You may want to tell your anxiety and perfectionism to fuck off because these fun mental experiences are keeping you from feeling your grief.  Stop trying to intellectualize your feelings and let yourself just be sad, for Pete’s sake.  (I don’t know who Pete is either, but do it for him.)  I feel like the creativity represented by both the Empress and the Princess of Cups is a yuuuuuge hint as to how you need to deal with your grief.  These two ladies are trying to tell you that now might be a good time to write down your feelings on paper, paint them on a canvas, twerk them out in front of the mirror, or sculpt them into a giant abstract penis.  If you do sculpt your feelings into a giant abstract penis, it might be best if you avoid sending it to anyone.  I don’t see anything in this spread that says traumatizing someone is a good idea, even if you put a shiny silver bow on it.  Our two ladies—the Empress and the Princess of Cups—appear as if to show you how this creativity can be a bit double-edged.  So let’s analyze them in order.  The Empress is a nurturing and creative soul with a great boho peasant dress, but homegirl can be a little on the smothering and controlling side.  Take this as a warning not to get so in your feelings that you forget others’ boundaries.  By the same token, you might want to avoid giving more than you can afford or acting overly effusive to compensate for your depression, as the Four of Swords next to the Empress tells me you are likely to drain yourself that way.  The Princess of Cups warns against getting caught up in fantasies and unrealistic expectations as a way to escape reality.  You might also want to avoid the what if trap and future tripping. If you feel the urge to do any of these things, just understand that you are trying to avoid your feelings.  The shiny mind fuck might be a bit too tempting this week, so the best birth control for this brand of neurosis is some Zen meditation.

PLEASE READ:  I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future.  I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader.  Please understand, this isn’t personal.  I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now.  If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware.  You can email him at ggm92666@yahoo.ca  Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze.  You can find her right here.

If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest.  Hey, sharing is caring.  

Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help.  If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here.  Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets.  You can donate here.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia?  Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires.  Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires.  You can get those here. 

If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection.  Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here.  Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com

 P.S.  I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!!  I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here.  Please read and review it.  Thank you!!

Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod?  Check out our latest political collab.  He’s coming back in the near future, FYI.  If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here.  It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried.  He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four is right here.  And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Meditation Script #1: 3/14/21 Letting Go

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

Hello, hello, hello.  Welcome to another episode of The Spice is Right Podcast!  Have I mentioned I’m excited to have you here?  Despite the polite robot voice I’m using for these things, I am fucking stoked to share these meditations with you. 

Speaking of, you probably have two questions:

  1.  Why the robot voice?  Why not just record your own voice?
  2. Why do a meditation podcast if you already do a blog on the woo-woo shit?

Let’s address the first question.  I’m using the robot voice for a couple main reasons.  First, my schedule is unpredictable and a little funky.  I would rather type out the scripts and upload them for some affable A.I. to read, than post less often.  The robot voice requires less editing, which requires a lot less time.  I just have to do my part and keep my creative spellings to a minimum, whilst maximizing the spacing and punctuation to convey at least some of the feelings behind the words.  Also, I have a lively house that won’t quiet down for shit.  I’m not complaining because I’m all about free entertainment, but it’s hard to sell a meditation when the background noise is a sea of meowing, barking, loud ass anime, and other noises of life.

Maybe one day I’ll do something where you can hear and see me, but today’s not that day.

Okay, so why would I want to do a meditation podcast when my blog, also (very conveniently) called The Spice is Right, recommends a ton of great meditation resources and videos?

The answer to that is simple.  Writing my tarot blog has made me realize how much of a need there is to balance basic mental health principles, coping skills, and spirituality, with common fucking sense.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are thousands—possibly millions—of quality meditation videos and other resources.  I have used many, will continue to use many, and will pass these suggestions on to you.  However, there is always room for more.  Always more that can be shared using your own unique background, preferences, and experiences.  If the question is why me?, then the answer is why not me?

Maybe you should start doing the same sort of Q and A on yourself, eh?

Anyhoo, let’s start this off with the mission of this podcast:

I am presenting these meditation scripts to help you do a few things.  Those things are:

  • Decrease anxiety.
  • Increase mindfulness.
  • Decrease confusion and feelings of “stuck-ness”.
  • Increase your intuition and help you act on it.
  • Decrease that nagging feeling you’re not enough.
  • Increase the feeling that you are enough.  Not only are you enough, but perhaps you are not as fucked up as you thought you were.
  • Decrease feeling triggered by things you cannot control.
  • Increase an understanding of what you can control versus what you cannot, along with understanding how you can accept or let go of the rest.
  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Maybe stop some of that self-sabotage we all seem so fond of.
  • Help you create a dialogue with your inner self that increases inner peace, mental clarity, understanding, and self-confidence.

If that sounds like something you can use, please use each meditation every day or night for up to a month.  Be sure to keep a journal so that you can write down your insights and weird dreams each day.

WARNING: Meditation is a great tool for calming your ass down, but it can also bring up a lot of feelings you tried to bury alive.  If at any time you feel triggered during this meditation, please, please, please bring yourself out of it by opening your eyes and focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, taste, or touch around you.

As always, if you like this meditation script, then there may be something else you may like on my blog.  Check me out at https://thespiceisright.wordpress.com/

Now let’s do this, shall we?

Meditation to Release Anxiety: The Bottle of Soda

Relax and follow the script…  

Sit or lie down in a calming position…  

Make sure you are comfortable.

Take a deep breath in.  Hold it for 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  Exhale.

Become aware of your breathing…  

Feel the air enter through your nostrils…

Visualize the air streaming in through your nostrils, 

Filling your lungs,

Expanding your belly,

Spreading oxygen through your bloodstream,

Giving your cells the energy and vitality they need…

Feel the air leave through your mouth in a steady stream…

Feel your belly deflate and your diaphragm push the air up and out, like squeezing toothpaste from a tube…

Take another deep breath in… 

As you inhale, imagine a pure stream of white light entering your nostrils and filling your lungs.  Hold the breath, 

Seeing this light as 

Peace, 

Serenity, 

Wisdom, 

Truth, 

And love.  

As you exhale, imagine the light spreading from your chest 

To your stomach, 

Up your neck, 

To your head, 

Down your shoulders and arms, 

To your fingertips, 

Down your legs, 

And to the tips of your toes.

Breathe in this white light again.  

Hold the breath and feel the peace, 

Serenity, 

Wisdom, 

Truth, 

And love build inside you.  

Exhale and imagine the light spreading from your chest 

To your stomach, 

Up your neck, 

To your head, 

Down your shoulders and arms, 

To your fingertips, 

Down your legs, 

And to the tips of your toes.

Keep breathing steadily like this, making your inhalations match your exhalations.  Inhale… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Hold… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Exhale… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

As you breathe, imagine you are sitting on the bottom of a shaken bottle of soda, Watching the bubbles and pressure swirl and build around you.  

Feel the tension of the fizzing bubbles.  

This bottle of soda is your mind.  

The bubbles are the nagging thoughts, feelings, obligations, and past emotional baggage that is currently affecting you.  

Take a moment to acknowledge this tension.  

What do the bubbles mean to you?  

What worries and negative patterns are you holding inside of you?  

How are these worries and negative patterns holding you back?  

Feel these thoughts build and multiply, 

Creating greater tension.

Now breathe in and imagine the pool of white light collecting just below your ribs.  

Hold the breath and let the light build until you can imagine it like a giant circle, 

The same diameter as your soda bottle.  

As you exhale, watch the light push the bubbles closer to the surface of the bottle.  

Keep breathing, 

Feeling the light push the bubbles closer to the top of the bottle with every breath.  

Feel your thoughts floating upward and out of the top of the bottle.  

Feel your mind becoming lighter, 

Letting go of the memories, 

Thoughts, 

Feelings, 

And worries that are weighing you down.  

Feel the calm and quiet wash over you in its place.  

Allow your mind to make room for the solutions and guidance you need.

Take two more white light breaths.  

Inhale…  

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Hold… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Exhale… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Inhale…  

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Hold… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

Exhale… 

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…  

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Tarot Reading of the Week: 3/2/21 – 3/9/21 and 3/9/21 – 3/16/21

DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only.  Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice.  If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.

If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here.  Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state.  **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now.  I have 120 more articles that go through the end of May.  Beyond that, I haven’t been able to sort through the info coming out.  Sorry to be so slow.

WARNING:  This is the part of my weekly post where I talk about some pop-psychological and tangentially metaphysical thing.  My belief is I’m not the only one noticing this and I wonder how it will affect the New Normal (™).  I am doing this in the hopes that it is useful for someone.  If you are not that someone, you are more than welcome to skip to the reading.  Please accept my humble apologies if you found this preachy.

I was going to talk about current events, buuuutttt I need a break.  The world will still be utterly fucked on the outside, but redeemable within when I have the intestinal fortitude to deal with what hell We the Collective (™) hath wrought again.  

After the last few weeks of American Rescue Plan 2021 this, QAnon Shaman’s Post Trump Pity Party PR Tour ™ that, with a little almost-war with Iran sprinkled in for flavor, my brain was screaming, Let’s just chat about something a little lighter for now, okay?”

Yeah, I’m fucking sick to death of American politics, the pandemic, and how we’re all circling the drain.  Me being sick of something doesn’t mean it’s going away any time soon, though.  But let’s humor my brain before it melts and talk about all the cool astrological shit happening since we last met.  Here’s the short list:

The full moon in Virgo 2/27/21.  Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces got the main moonbeams from this.  Virgo likely alternated between confidence and relentless self-criticism, as the full moon highlighted their identity.  The full moon zapped Sagittarius with some serious career advice.  And daydreaming Pisces got a spotlight shone on the good, bad, and the ugly of their relationships.  Here are a few things the rest of us may have experienced:

  • The urge to stop cutting corners and start getting ethical.
  • Being forced to clean some area of our houses—emotional, mental, or physical—before the stench got suffocating.
  • Goals getting clearer and to-do lists being made.  
  • The urge to get shit done.
  • Detoxing bad habits, bad self-talk, bad energy, and toxic people.  The stuff in your life that you’ve outgrown probably looked like that one pair of jeans that gives you camel toe and muffin top.

In short, 2/27/21 was a great time to let it go.

Mars enters Gemini 3/3/21.  Action-oriented Mars—the planet that gives Aries peeps their unique one-pointed, intense energy—bursts into chatty, ADHD-prone Gemini.  The result is not only bound to knock the astrological twins on their ass, but also shake up the rest of us in the following ways:

  • You may be hyper aware of the power of words, thanks to the mercurial emphasis on communication and expression.  You may want to think before you speak, avoid venting, and avoid gossip.
  • The urge to take on any and all projects put in your lap.  The problem is, Gemini has a difficult time focusing.  This might look like dinner burning on the stove while you make that urgent call to the IRS.  Or your craft room might look like some DIY-hating terrorist group targeted a Michaels.  You may want to set your priorities and stick to the top five so that you don’t end up mentally, physically, emotionally, energetically, or financially behind the 8 Ball.
  • You may feel a little flirty and noncommittal until Mars ends this dalliance in Gemini 4/23/21.  That’s cool.  Just don’t get attached to any outcomes.
  • Emotional reactions are going to be at an all time high.  The trick is to not personalize others’ knee-jerk reactions, as you are most likely merely the messenger.  If you are the person who is triggered, please take this as a warning to stop, drop, and roll before you project your pissiness.

Mercury Conjunct Jupiter 3/4/21.  Is it just me, or does Mercury get around more than Uranus?  Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, our favorite retrograding planet flies direct to hang out with Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion.  You can actually see a picture of it here.  For those of you who want to know how this affects you, a Mercury-Jupiter coffee date may have:

  • Inspired some optimism and hope.
  • Caused a little mania in the form of overspending, overindulging, and just generally lacking the discipline to be responsible in some area.
  • Given you a little wanderlust in the form of a staycation or COVID-friendly road trip.
  • Put the focus on your worldview or expanding your horizons.
  • Lit the fire under your ass to start studying something new or go back to school so you can level up.
  • Ignited your curiosity to learn about other cultures or philosophies.

This video has more to say about the high-falootin’ planetary party:

Other than the full moon in Virgo, this energy is kinda on the flighty side.  I appreciate the chance to catch our breath, but I am concerned about the possibility of losing oneself in a dream world.  This might be a great week to do some grounding, especially because we’re preparing for the 3/13/21 new moon in Pisces.  The Pisces new moon is going to be about setting intention and getting on a good karmic path, which tells me it’s even more important to ground yourself.

For those of you looking for a few grounding activities, Healthline.com put together this handy list.  You can also check out my treatise on why grounding is important right here.  The best way to stay grounded is with a daily check-in.  These journal questions might help:

  • Where in my life do I feel connected today?
  • What were three emotions I felt today?
  • What were three thoughts I had today?
  • What were three things I saw today?
  • What were three things I heard today?
  • What were three things I touched today?
  • How do I feel right now?
  • How am I talking about myself right now?
  • Where are my thoughts wandering right now?

Check out your horoscope for the upcoming new moon in Pisces:

As always, I have to mention the MindBody/Wellness Research and Science Network group on Facebook.  The chick who runs it takes an evidence-based approach to holistic topics.  I appreciate her common sense-meets-spirituality way of doing things.  

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 3/2/21 – 3/9/21 and I got:  The Tower (number 16, a destructive experience that brings liberation, destruction, chaos, upheaval, disillusionment, creative inspiration, sudden events, and clearing away fakery); Eight of Cups (number 8, “easy come/easy go,” letting go, going inward, loneliness, travel or an inner journey, possible vacation, a trip that leaves one feeling renewed, a dream that’s no longer fulfilling, and possibly loss); the Fool (number 0, a leap of faith, trust, impulsivity, naivete, following one’s instincts, and trusting one’s judgment); and the Eight of Swords (number 8, possibly playing the victim, fears that keep one bound, playing it small, mental oppression, the choice to stay oppressed vs. facing reality, and the need to find a creative solution).  There are three big ol’ themes in this spread.  The first is, half the spread is Major Arcana cards.  This spread starts with the Tower, aka one of the most dreaded cards in the tarot.  Most readers feel some trepidation when they see the Tower because it is a card of destruction and chaos, which is usually the opposite of what most people want to hear.  This brings us to the second theme.  Any destruction brought by the Tower only paves the way for you to build something better.  This message is reinforced by the Fool, which is probably the most happy-go-lucky card in the deck.  The message is simple: anything that has become irrelevant, toxic, tedious, or just not you needs to go.  Your mind, body, or finances may feel like an Etch A Sketch, but only because it’s time for you to make a better picture.  I feel like the shit that needs to leave your life is mostly in the form of old behaviors, emotions, and negative self-talk.  The passive purge theme in this spread is supported by the Eight of Cups, which is the main “easy come, easy go” card in the tarot.  This card comes with a caveat, namely any loss it indicates is going to come with a little loneliness.  The loss isn’t as devastating as the one indicated by the Three of Swords or Five of Cups, but it is strong enough to show you exactly what you need in your life and how strong you really are.  Meanwhile, the Eight of Swords indicates keeping oneself bound or playing it small to avoid a consequence.  The Eight of Swords can also mean playing the victim or making excuses to keep yourself stuck.  These are all things you may want to get rid of, which tells me anything you need to let go of this week is in the form of beliefs, self-talk, or emotional. Now we get to the final theme in this spread, which is that both of our Minor Arcana cards are both eights.  Eight energy speaks to karma, material things, power, and business.  This particular energy reminds us how important it is to balance physical energy with mental energy, as well as work and play.  Eight energy is a warning against becoming a total workaholic.  Like the Eight of Swords suggests, don’t use busywork or some other arduous form of self-punishment to hide from reality.  Take a tip from the Eight of Cups and the Fool by allowing things to be what they are.  The truth about what role you’re playing in your current holding pattern is right in front of you.  This spread suggests this will be a week where you have to figure out if you’re willing to see the truth for what it is.  You have what it takes to pick up the pieces, but this week is all about letting the process do its thing.

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 3/9/21 – 3/16/21 and I got:  King of Cups (water sign male, intuitive person, a passionate person prone to mood swings, hiding vulnerability, potential for ruthlessness, possibly a jealous person, possibly time to explore one’s passionate nature, and a warning against expressing one’s feelings); Judgment (number 20, seeing oneself honestly, a fresh start, the need to stop procrastinating, news about a long term project, and broadening one’s horizons); the Star (number 18, the need to listen to one’s dreams, time for self-reflection, psychic experiences or deja vu, the need to pay attention to one’s triggers, and hope); and Seven of Cups (number 7, confusion, possibly intoxication, the need to let the smoke clear, take time before making a decision, lack of focus, and possibly being at an emotional crossroads).  There’s no discernable numerical theme to this spread, but we do have a couple running motifs.  Major Arcana cards are sandwiched between two Cups cards.  Let’s focus on the filling of the sandwich (Major Arcana cards) before dissecting the bread (Cups cards).  Our two Major Arcana deli meats—Judgment and the Star—both deal with renewal and your perspective, but they come at it from different angles.  Judgment speaks to opening the curtains and windows in a dark, neglected room.  Yeah, you might choke on the dust cloud and smell the mustiness as the fresh air blasts its way through the window.  You won’t be able to unsee what needs to be cleaned, however.  Judgment forces you to see things as they are, as well as shows you how they can be improved.  The Star also talks about changing perspective, but it is a card of optimism, hope, and intuition.  When you combine these two cards, you get a situation that has to change, as well as a strong indication that it can change for the better.  Now let’s talk about the bread, our two Cups cards.  The first card is the King of Cups.  If the King is a person, they’re an intense, brooding type with a good head for business.  He feels things intensely, but doesn’t necessarily express them.  This may mean a situation where you are plenty hurt, but it is a terrible idea to let it show.  This spread starts with the quiet intensity of the King, but ends with the hazy confusion of the Seven of Cups.  Sometimes signifying drunkenness or being in an altered state, the Seven of Cups speaks to confusion and needing a clear head before making a decision.  When we put the whole sandwich together, how does the thing taste?  The Cups talk about emotions, so we know right off the bat the situation will have a mostly emotional impact on you.  The King speaks to how intense the trigger might be, which is strengthened by the subtle indication of triggers by the Star.  The Star also enhances the Seven of Cups in that the Seven signifies needing to clear your head before making a decision.  When you add Judgment to the mix, you get an a-ha moment based on something you can’t unsee.  I feel like the Star is telling us this defining moment happens as an intuitive shiver or sign at just the right moment, rather than something being told to you by another person.  This intuitive flash will feel like a confirmation of something you have been suspecting for a while.  For example, you might suddenly see how you were being gaslighted by a boss or trusted friend.  Or you might spontaneously understand why others are avoiding you. The situation isn’t about you.  It’s okay to walk away from bullshit.  If you leave your role in this drama, please believe the director will quickly replace you with another actor.  Take a cue from the King and keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself for now.  Just get an exit plan together because you’ll probably need it by the end of the month.  By the same token, you will also intuitively understand who has been there to help you all along.

PLEASE READ:  I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future.  I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader.  Please understand, this isn’t personal.  I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now.  If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware.  You can email him at ggm92666@yahoo.ca  Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze.  You can find her right here.

If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest.  Hey, sharing is caring.  

Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help.  If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here.  Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets.  You can donate here.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia?  Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires.  Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires.  You can get those here. 

If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection.  Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here.  Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com

 P.S.  I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!!  I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here.  Please read and review it.  Thank you!!

Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod?  Check out our latest political collab.  He’s coming back in the near future, FYI.  If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here.  It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried.  He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four is right here.  And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!