High Infidelity: Marshall Delaware and Spicevicious Tackle the Question, “Are They Cheating on Me?”

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 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.

Spice Asks, “Are They a Jerk or Is The Universe Out to Get You?”

Back in the halcyon days when I started on Keen.com—2001, to be exact—I noticed most of the reader profiles targeted women at a crossroads in their relationships.  It wasn’t exactly a revelation, if you think about it.  I found Keen.com because grief, childhood issues, a cluster of identity crises, and some fucked up relationship issues collided.  I also noticed I wasn’t as popular as some readers not only because my schedule was so all-over-the-place, but also because I was perhaps a little too honest.  

A little too honest” was also sometimes code for seriously unchecked transference issues”.  It’s cringy and humiliating to admit that I was spraying my psychological sewage all over others’ situations, but I want you to understand that ALL PSYCHIC READERS are human beings with unconscious emotional issues.  It doesn’t make them bad or frauds—many people come out of horrible situations with greater empathy and wisdom—but it does mean you need to think critically about any spiritual data you get.  Yes, this also applies to spiritual info given by “mainstream” religious figures and doctrines, yoga gurus, and mental health experts too.

But back to the lecture at hand…

Those Keen.com profiles targeted women having cis, hetero relationship problems because nothing stabs at the very core of your being like possible infidelity.   Not knowing whether that person you let into your heart is only in there to drain it dry fucking sucks.  But here’s the thing: I got a lot of calls from men, people who identify as gender fluid, women who were into women, et al asking if their relationships were on the up-and-up.  Wanna know why?  Because being a duplicitous asshole isn’t exclusive to just one gender or sexual orientation.  You just get more women calling psychics is all.  Not only are men less likely to want to process their partner’s possible infidelity with a stranger, but also younger generations are closing that gender gap.  

Please understand that while my advice seems a little harsh, I totally get how painful and disorienting questions of infidelity can be.  I also understand that the only way to weather the storm is to get yourself in a position where you can make the best possible decisions for you and your future.  This means:

  • Acknowledging your feelings without getting swallowed whole by them.
  • Giving yourself time and space before you react (i.e. drunk text, cyberstalk, translate your most visceral emotions into text, drive by their house, etc.).
  • Giving yourself time before deciding to continue or restart a relationship that may have been toxic for you.
  • Evaluating the evidence before deciding what you want to do with the relationship.
  • Preparing to say what you mean and mean what you say when you finally do address this.
  • Figuring out whether the two of you can work through this debacle and use it as a way to strengthen your relationship.

Before you think you need to start collecting cats or join the Peace Corps to avoid the dating game, it may help to know why people cheat.  Here are some of the woo-woo and earthly reasons I’ve noticed why people stray:

  • Karma.  I know I sound like a broken record with this karmic relationship stuff, but sometimes it really is your karma or theirs that makes them cheat.  It could be that you were the cheater in a past life.  Maybe you caused them pain or broke a promise in another way during that lifetime—or over multiple lifetimes—and this infidelity was their soul’s way of breaking ties.  Or their Higher Self needed them to be the cheater during this lifetime in order to make them–or you–better people down the road.  
  • A wake up call.  Spiritually speaking, nothing can get you to shit or get off the pot like the outhouse exploding.  Getting drenched in break up diarrhea is one of those KABOOM-type events.  This is related to the karma reason because it involves metaphysical chess, but it may not have been premeditated.  Maybe you were on a comfortable path, but that doesn’t make it the best one for you.  Perhaps you wouldn’t have seen it if you spent forever and ever with the cheater.
  • Spiritual interference.  I don’t like talking about this one because it is relatively rare, but it does happen.  The thing about someone using spells or other occult stuff to mess with your relationship is it is a real bitch to prove.  I’ll have to do a little research to give you the best advice on this one, but I would suggest a good protection spell that does not name a specific target.  Just use “anyone who would harm, exploit, manipulate, undermine, steal from, or discredit me or my relationships; intentionally or unintentionally, by thought, by emotion, by action, or by energy” when you do the spell.  I’ve got some good ones for this, believe me.  But this is a different post altogether…
  • Self-sabotage as self-protection.  Some people hate conflict and will avoid uncomfortable conversations at all costs.  The emotional and mental gymnastics involved in them running from a confrontation kinda looks like what would happen if Cirque du Soleil choreographed a show about angry cats avoiding baths.  Sometimes this avoidance looks like self-sabotage.  Think of it like a relationship suicide bomb because they’re basically using anything they can find to blow up this relationship, even if that means blowing themselves up with it.  And what can decimate your relationships quite like cheating?
  • Relationship boredom.  Most relationships hit a phase where things aren’t as new and exciting as they were.  It might take days, weeks, months, or years.  Sometimes the familiarity is appealing, other times, not so much.  Sometimes the familiarity is just there to cover deeper issues that one or both parties want to avoid, like power struggles, personality differences, or toxic behavior.  Whatever the case, there are people that don’t handle familiarity and routine that well.  Anyone ever owned a border collie?  They have a wacky perpetual herding, chase-the-ball thing happening.  These dogs are a little too smart for their own good and can get mischievous when bored.  Sometimes cheating is the human version of that.
  • They suck.  This one’s pretty self-explanatory.  Some people cheat because they are fucking selfish and out for immediate gratification.
  • They checked out of the relationship, but didn’t want to hurt you.  This one combines selfishness, avoidance, feeling out of place, and a ton of anxiety.  Cheating is just one way to get you to make their decision for them.
  • You were never on the same page.  Maybe this one boils down to radically different communication styles, cultural barriers, or a shitload of denial.  Whatever the case, being out of sync with your partner feels like a song that’s just barely off key or watching a dance where one of the dancers is about a half step behind the others.  Maybe your partner felt it too.

Whatever the case, they are the one that chose to handle their feelings this way.  They are the ones that closed themselves off to you and opened themselves up to other possibilities.  No matter how you contributed to the situation, you never put a gun to their head and told them to cheat.  

And that’s just one of many things about infidelity that hurts like a bitch.

But Are They Cheating, Though?

Irrefutable proof of infidelity is hard to procure.  Unless you walked in on it, somehow got the pictures, have a confession, or some other piece of tangible evidence, all you have is a gut feeling.  Here’s the deal about gut feelings: your mind will try to screw with you ten ways to Sunday, but your gut is never wrong.  The only problem with gut feelings is they only know something is wrong.  They don’t necessarily tell us what that something is.

I think feeling insecure about your partner is a warning that you need to take a look at something in your relationship.  Let’s expound on the old “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” adage for a second.  Say you come upon a rager of a fire that’s savagely roaring through everything you hold dear.  I’ve been around enough physical and metaphorical fire to tell you that knowing how the fire started will tell you how you need to extinguish it.  Pyros, fire fighters, and really bad cooks will tell you that you deal with an electrical fire differently than a grease fire or a smudge stick ritual gone wrong.  How can you tell what started the fire and what type of fire you have on your hands?

By controlling the blaze and examining the evidence, of course.

The nagging feeling that all is not right in your relationship is much the same way.  Do you have a wildfire of an affair on your hands, or merely a partner who needs a little space?  Here’s a quick list of situations that might be setting off your intuitive fire alarm:

  • They seem more distant.  This one has a few reasons.  Maybe they are scared of screwing up another relationship.  Maybe it was something you said and they don’t know how to approach you.  Maybe they feel like they need to pull back in order to focus on their wants, needs, and goals.  
  • They’re having an emotional affair.  Do they seem a little distracted, or are they especially protective of their phone?  Or maybe they’re mentioning a new friend just a liiiitttttttlllleeee too much.  Although they might not be doing the horizontal mambo, these signs might be worth a conversation or two.  People usually have emotional affairs because they’re flattered by someone else’s attention, their partner has started taking them for granted, they feel lonely in the relationship, they’re bored or disconnected in the relationship, or any combo of these things.
  • They’re at the “just talking” stage.  Oh goody.  Another gray area affair.  This category takes the emotional affair a step further, though, because it’s more intentional.  Unlike the emotional affair, people in the “just talking” stage tend to know they’re doing it.  They just have a ton of plausible deniability about where these “conversations” might lead because they’re…  “just talking.”  This one can be totally nipped in the bud, but it’s still a major head fuck for everyone considered.
  • They have a “school husband/wife” or “work husband/wife.”  The quick definition of a work spouse is a coworker with whom you have a great deal of affection and rapport.  The level of trust, appreciation, and understanding between you makes you look forward to coming to work and makes the day go a lot faster.  Having a work spouse may increase job satisfaction, but it’s still a blurry boundary that can easily be taken too far.  
  • You found suggestive profiles, messages, or pictures.  There really aren’t too many logical reasons for this one.

So what should you do with these burning gut feelings?  I’ll get to that, but first, I’d like you to…

IS HE CHEATING ON ME OR AM I JUST HARSHING HIS BUZZ? MARSHALL DELAWARE PLUGS HIS NOSE AND DELVES INTO THE REALITY OF MODERN INFIDELITY FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT AND ENLIGHTENMENT.

Helllllllooooooooooooo, ladies. I know, it seems like I’ve been procrastinating on the old prognosticating but I really have no good excuse to give you so how about we just non-confrontationally slide into this timely topic and see if you are indeed the victim of a two-faced, double-dealing, fork-tongued fornicator.

  • Knight of Cups
  • Queen of Pentacles
  • 10 of Wands
  • The Hierophant
  • Queen of Cups

Okay, whenever I encounter a good news/bad news sitch, I always want to hear the bad news first because I love stories with happy endings, so let’s get the negativity out of the way first. Your dude harbours an idealistic conception of what love and commitment looks like and you’re not holding up your end of the bargain as you strut-bounce down the street screaming the lyrics to “WAP” because you’ve decided that that song is going to be your philosophical cornerstone to dealing with your man, and relationships in general. Oh well, I guess it’s a step up from whatever Billie Eilish is singing about. At least you don’t seem so fucking gloomy anymore as you longingly gaze at the kitchen knives while wondering if today is a good day to go out like a Roman, and if so is it mandatory that you wear the mask while slicing open your Brachial Artery as a courtesy to the medical examiner that finds your corpse?

Since I’m old enough to be his dad, I’ve been saying long before Da Anti Flip Lord, Pierre XO, graced us with His Interdimensional Presence, that the pendulum always swings the other way. Women wanted guys to stop focusing on the superficial/anatomical aspects and place a greater emphasis on things to do with character and personality, and guess what, they are. Guys are finally starting to clue in that between da bangs ya gotta hang, and hanging means conversing, engaging in some sort of positive and meaningful dialogues that induce an omnipresent sense of emotional intimacy, y’know pair bonding. It’s a little difficult to do that with a broad who thinks that 80% of the dudes on Tinder and Plenty of Fish are below average. It’s a bit of a slog for the dude in question to take you seriously when you can’t put away your fucking smart phone on a date and actually make an effort to make the dude feel like he matters, not with your body, just with your undivided attention in public places. It’s not enough to shag the bloke, or to vomit up some pithy love bomb on your Instagram, you have to actually do the quiet things too, like fucking listen to him. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with him, it just means you have to make a consistent effort to take him seriously. Because if you don’t, he won’t hesitate to abandon ship and cast his bread upon the waters once again.

Okay, that’s the bad news. The good news is, no he’s not cheating on you. For a dude cheating isn’t as easy as it looks. He can’t just show up at the nightclub, or the coffee shop, or anywhere really, throw up his red light, and then casually assess his options as da bitches flock to him. Even high status, seriously successful men have to work the hustle if they want to slide on into the holiest of holies, once again. They have to initiate. They have to work their best game and even those dudes strike out way more often that they’re willing to admit.

For a regular bloke it’s more morally acceptable to him to just give it his best effort in a monogamous sitch and when that well runs dry again, he can just leave without being told that he’s some kind of a lying cad. As long as he can say, “I tried but she just wasn’t that into me.”, then he can wank off and go to sleep feeling guilt-free without ever having to hear that Cardi B song ever again.

So yeah, that’s what I’m seeing here. The fear of infidelity is something that you can alleviate fairly easily, and it doesn’t involve you having to do anything degrading or borderline illegal. Just focus on your guy on a regular basis and practice active listening. Who knows, you might even find him interesting. Interesting enough to seriously commit to.

So yeah, that’s all I have to say about that. This is Marshall Delaware once again saying do the best that you can to be the best that you can. Seeya.

Spice Throws Out a Couple Things to Ponder

I once asked a good friend what her definition of Hell was.  She responded, “Having to show up naked for a tax audit, then finding out the auditor has Michael Bolton’s greatest hits playing in a continuous loop.  Oh, and the office door is locked from the outside.”

Uncomfortable, yes, but anyone who has dealt with a potential relationship security breach can tell you it gets worse.  Way, way worse.  To put it in Matrix terms, you can either take the blue pill or the red pill on this one.  The blue pill involves you completely ignoring your nagging feelings, even overcompensating for them by trying to be perfect.  The blue pill means you pretend that nothing is wrong and your relationship is candy-coated, rose-colored, obnoxiously happy #relationshipgoals.  The blue pill might mean you stuff down your darker feelings with food, gag your tears before they flow, and pour yourself into your relationship.  This sort of thing means you might have to post about your happiness on social media EVERY. FIVE. FUCKING. MINUTES.  It’s a recipe for the type of emotional burnout that only codependence and delusion can bring, but at least it’s misery that you know.

The red pill involves a lot more honesty and a willingness to get your metaphorical hands dirty.  Like, Lady MacBeth’s hands dirty.

Before we plunge our digits into the gore, I need to issue a disclaimer.  WARNING:  Love advice from Spicevicious tends to contain a high concentration of Resting Bitch Face (RBF).  Coming into contact with RBF is not advisable if you have an allergy to dry humor, sarcasm, and relatively large doses of truth. 

Stop Clutching Your Pearls and Pop The Red Pill Already

In order to successfully choke down the red pill, please remind yourself that the truth doesn’t care about what’s easier for you.  The truth is a honey badger.  It doesn’t give a shit.  This means YOU need to give a shit about you.  You know that fun buzzword self-care?  The one that basically got shoved down our throats during the quarantine?  Yeah, well, it means a little more than planting a garden when you’re dealing with questions surrounding infidelity.  It means getting real about what is best for you and your life.  This might look like:

  • Re-examining your boundaries.
  • Making a pro and con list of this relationship.
  • Getting real about your insecurities.
  • Making a list of things you want in a relationship.  Does your relationship meet your needs?
  • Deleting the meaner, more knee-jerk texts and emails you want to send.  It’s not helping.  Trust me on that.
  • NOT STALKING YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.  Put them on a 30 day social media block if you must.  Find something else to do during the times you typically text or call them.  Channel your energy into this 30 day squat challenge so you can look good as you peace out, if that’s what you decide to do.
  • Developing a routine for yourself.

Now ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why do you think they’re cheating?
  • Can you continue the relationship if you find out that they’re not cheating?
  • What are you prepared to do if you find out they are cheating?
  • What are you prepared to do if you believe they are cheating, but they deny it?

Getting honest with that first question of why will help you figure out the answers to the other three questions.  Let’s tackle the first question, shall we…?

Why do you think they’re cheating?  My years of reading the tarot, watching friends go through hell, and being on both ends of this hell myself have taught me the “are they or aren’t they?” seed gets planted for a million combinations of the two reasons:

  1. You have evidence or observations that point to infidelity.
  2. Your insecurities are seriously fucking with you.

I feel like this Psychology Today article breaks down the 10 most common signs someone is cheating rather well.  It also plays into conventional wisdom, which states, “If you feel something is rotten in your relationship, it probably is.”  

Fair enough.  Let me just add a couple tweaks to that statement with a wee analogy.

Imagine you come home one day and something smells fucking awful.  Never have you smelled such a repugnant combination of rotting flesh being farted out a zombie’s ass, mixed with distinct top notes of an unbathed, hung over frat boy—sssnnniiiffffff!!!—and wet dog.  On the verge of throwing up your lunch, you fling open the windows.  You flip on all the fans.  You open the front door.  But the smell just gets stronger.  

It doesn’t matter what is causing the stench.  You cannot live this way.  Buuuttt it’s easier to work around the smell than to completely uproot every object in your house.  You decide to take the blue pill and scrub every visible surface, but leave the stuff you can’t see alone.

The smell only gets stronger.

As the stench continues to sear your eyeballs, your imagination runs amok.  What if there’s a body under your floorboards?  But I’m the only one who lives here.  Maybe someone planted it there.  Why wouldn’t they toss it in the lake?  Okay, you’re right.  It was circus clowns and giant spiders…  *sigh*  Sure…  I am NOT opening that can of worms.

Meanwhile, the blue pill solution does what it does best—keeps you comfortable until it blows up in your face.  The smell keeps you up at night and covers your food, your bed, and your clothes.  It blows through your heater and air conditioner.  Your friends and family start associating you with the stench.  They start pulling away until you are only left with the smell.

And then your house starts rotting.  It starts with a few mold spots here and there.  No matter how much you scrub them, the spots spread.  The mold covers more and more of your house until you notice soft spots and holes in the walls.

One day, after your house has disintegrated to the foundation, you notice the carcasses of a family of stray cats behind the water heater.  No evil clowns.  No serial killer neighbors.  Just something you could have easily taken care of as soon as you noticed a problem.

See where I’m going there?

Noticing something is wrong can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t deal with the insecurities underlying it.  Doing anything less—i.e. pushing down your feelings or only focusing on the surface-level parts of the situation—will only destroy you, which will only fuck you over no matter what happens with the relationship.

I humbly propose you do a couple things:

  • Separate the evidence from what you think it means, or want it to mean.  This means releasing judgment and the need to connect the dots from your receipts.  I really liked these tips to becoming less judgmental.  Here are the usable bits:
    • Practice nonjudgmental communication by removing words like “good,” “bad,” “always,” “never,” “right,” “wrong,” or anything that makes a situation black or white when talking about your evidence.
    • Don’t assume you know why or how something happened.  All you have right now is what and when.
    • Judgment is about self-protection and fear, so check out a good compassion meditation like this one or this one.  The more you release your fears and insecurities, the more you will be able to separate bullshit from the truth when your significant other bothers to explain themselves.
  • Acknowledge possible alternative explanations to each piece of evidence.  Like I said, all you have in this situation is what and when.  Hopefully the house analogy showed you how much an incorrect why can mess with you.
  • Have an honest talk with yourself about your insecurities and where they come from.  Go back to your compassion meditation or do this Anubis spell to feel less lost and ask yourself these questions as part of your intention:
    • When was the first time I felt this way?  Who else was involved?  What did they do?  How did I react?
    • What were some thoughts I had about myself after this happened?  
    • How did I feel about myself after this happened?
    • What did I tell myself about myself after this situation?  Am I still repeating these messages?  
    • What were some thoughts I had about others after this happened?
    • How did I feel about others after this happened?
    • What did I tell myself about others after this situation?  Am I still repeating these messages?
  • Have an honest talk with yourself about any other reasons you may have to accuse them.  Maybe you’re accusing your significant other of cheating to take the focus off some thoughts or urges you’re having.  Projection is a pretty common defense mechanism when we don’t want to own stuff that makes us feel ashamed, guilty, gross, or just plain crazy.  Look at your evidence objectively.  If your smoking gun is barely lukewarm, methinks you may protest too much.  Before you emotionally batter an innocent partner with infidelity accusations, ask yourself this:
    • Have YOU been thinking of cheating?
    • Are you bored in this relationship?
    • Have you been looking for a way out, but don’t want to be the bad guy?
    • Do you have a pattern of sabotaging your relationships?
    • Do you feel like you deserve this relationship?
    • Are you trying to leave them before they leave you?

Now you have your receipts in one hand, and both pills in the other.  None of the questions I posed to you are easy.  I honestly wish they were.  But then again, ignoring the warning signs ain’t no cake walk either.  I’m not a guru or anyone special.  I’ve just flipped enough cards and done enough observing to know that asking yourself these questions sooner, rather than later can save you a ton of pain in the long run.  Questions of fidelity and trust never go away quietly.  It’s just a question of how long you’re willing to keep them on mute.

P.S. Any of the spells I’ve posted on this blog can be easily tailored so you can:

P.P.S.  If you want to know more about your relationship quandary, please hit up Marshall Delaware for a reading.  You can email him at ggm92666@yahoo.ca  I guarantee zany hijinks and enlightenment will ensue.

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

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 a few months ago!!  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 to tackle another current events conundrum, 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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 9/10/20 – 9/17/20 and 9/15/20 – 9/22/20

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.

Cognitive distortions are still on my mind, as are politics and social media being a fucking cesspool.  For those who are new to the Spice is Right party, cognitive distortions are the result of your mind making two connections between two things that aren’t related.  For example, you wake up one morning and you find that your goldfish died.  Then your mom tells you that your aunt died.  A possible cognitive distortion is you believing that your aunt is a goldfish due to these two events.  (Note: if you have made such an error in real life, I’m not making fun of you and you have my sincere condolences.)  This is a silly example on paper, but political posts on social media are ripe with examples of cognitive distortions.  The problem here is these distortions have the power to bring relationship issues to the surface, alienate people from each other, create a shitload of self-sabotage, and make you look like a royal ass.

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, I had a feeling this past week should be sponsored by the cognitive distortion of mental filter.  Mental filter involves filtering out any part of another person’s perspective that’s positive—or somehow makes your position look incorrect—only to focus on the negative.  Fun Fact: Mental Filter is a cognitive distortion that researchers have associated with panic disorder and increased depression.  Here are some examples of mental filter that you might encounter in your daily life:

  • You get your performance review at work.  It’s positive enough to help you keep your job for another year and maybe even get you a modest merit increase, buuuttt your boss says the way you write your notes could use improvement.  The rest of your day is ruined.
  • You love your partner and try to be your best for them.  You cook them a great meal, but they choose to focus on the pile of dishes in the sink.  Somehow the hours you spent finding the perfect recipe, the best ingredients, and lovingly executing each step seems smaller somehow.
  • It’s your first time hosting for the holidays and you want to get everything just right.  You start planning five months—almost half a year—in advance.  You clean the house till you can eat off the floors.  You start prep cooking the week before the holiday.  Perfect handmade decorations?  Check.  The day comes and everything goes right, except for one eensy little bitty spot on Grandma’s heirloom silver ladle.  Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, but guess what you choose to focus on?  Stupid ladle…
  • Your Trump-loving cousin posts some unfact-checked Facebook post that asks, “Why do guns have to be registered, but immigrants can be here illegally?”  Against your better judgment, you point out the logical fallacies of that statement (i.e. there’s no magical list of people here illegally, people overstaying their visas isn’t the same thing as buying a black market weapon, the human trafficking part of this issue is deeper than mere immigration, and many states actually don’t have a gun registry).  Your cousin, bless their heart, responds with, “So you admit the government lets immigrants come here illegally!  Commie!!”
  • Your super liberal niece churns out a pseudo think piece in her Millennial pink iPhone.  The post declares, “Melania Trump totally literally rips out all of the roses planted by former First Ladies!!!”  When you point out Ellen Wilson’s original roses are long gone and Jackie Kennedy’s crab apple trees were ruined by poor lawn drainage anyway, she. CAN’T. EVEN.  She responds, “So you think it’s okay for this glorified hooker to rip out other people’s plants?!”

Notice a couple things about all of these examples?  They all involve deciding to focus your tunnel vision on the negative, despite evidence that things might be a little more nuanced—even positive—than your narrow view.  Like all cognitive distortions, mental filter is a defensive reaction designed to block out anything that negates a viewpoint or part of your identity.  If you think that your mental filters need to be cleaned, ask yourself the following questions:

  • When are three situations that you catch yourself using mental filter?  For each situation, ask yourself:
    • What about the situation made me feel threatened, defensive, or annoyed?
    • When was the first time I can remember feeling like that about a situation?  What happened?
    • Was there any part of this situation that made me feel like I could be humiliated, mocked, or shamed?  What was it?
    • When was the first time I can remember feeling like I was humiliated, mocked, or shamed?  What about this situation reminds me of that time?
    • What about this most recent situation is the same as the first times I felt this  way?
    • What about this most recent situation is different than the times I first felt this way?
    • What was positive about using mental filter in this situation?
    • How did using mental filter in this situation hurt me?
    • How did using mental filter in this situation hurt the other person
    • How do you wish you had responded in this situation? 
  • Who else is involved in these situations?
  • What do all of these situations have in common?
  • What is different about each of these situations?
  • What is one thing you find yourself thinking when you use mental filter?
  • What is one thing you find yourself feeling when you use mental filter?
  • Looking at all of your answers, do you think using mental filter is more positive or negative?  Why?

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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.

And I need to give a shout out to this yoga video:

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

NOTE:  I realize that I’m almost a week late with this reading and I’m sorry.  Any excuse I could give you could be refuted with me just needing to plan for chaos better.  I can’t even say that I won’t do it again because I’ve got a ton of schedule changes coming up and that appears to be my achilles heel.  Again, I’m sorry.

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 9/10/20 – 9/17/20 and I got:  The Emperor (number 4, the need for self-discipline, issues with authority figures, “daddy issues,” the need for discipline in some area of life, a warning not to be too rigid in one’s approach, and the need to take charge of one’s life); Six of Pentacles (number 6, giving and receiving help, favors or unexpected help with no strings attached, sharing, donations, and a karmic undertone of reaping what one sows); Seven of Wands (number 7, about to reap the reward for one’s effort, the need to make a stand when challenged, handling difficulties and obstacles, and not letting others take advantage of one); and Nine of Swords (number 9, temporary sadness, depression, mental stress, hopelessness, the need to allow time to heal wounds, the need for a clear head in a difficult situation, and possibly inner wisdom).  Yikes.  There are a couple themes at play here and neither of them are particularly fun or pleasant.  First, we have a simmering power struggle, which is shown by the Emperor and the Seven of Wands.  The Emperor and the Seven are all about control and defensiveness.  The Emperor is a discipline card on a couple levels.  On the surface, this card means authority and the things that keep you in line (i.e. family structure and dysfunction, possibly abuse, and whomever signs your checks).  The deeper meaning of the Emperor is to keep yourself in line, whether that means sticking to a fitness routine, not spending your life’s savings on a motorcycle, doing your best at a job you hate, or not becoming too rigid.  The Seven of Wands underscores the theme of authority and a challenge to your schema because it is a card of needing to stand up for oneself.  The Seven is also a card of being rewarded for one’s efforts.  This tells me this last week was one where someone in authority threw you a major curveball.  Your mission was to not only navigate the obstacle, but keep your identity and routine—not to mention your temper—intact as you did so.  The Six of Pentacles sandwiched between these two challenging cards tells me a certain amount of compromise is needed this week to get something greater down the line, even if that something greater is only leverage.  In fact, I feel like the most likely reward for your sacrifice will be a bargaining chip you can use when you need something.  I feel like the Emperor signifies both you and an authority figure this week.  The message to you is to keep acting with integrity, no matter how shitty, unprofessional, immature, or just petty the people around you are.  Don’t stoop to their level because you have more to lose than they do.  The message about authority is a little darker.  If you have had the feeling that someone in authority—a boss, a parent, a teacher, a lead, et al—has been messing with you because they can, you’re 100% right.  This person loves to pull strings and saw a way to do it.  Their actions feel a little personal to me.  However, it doesn’t matter if you are the puppet master or the puppet this week because you will definitely get back whatever you put into the situation, which is the second theme of this spread.  The Six of Pentacles and Seven of Wands both have a karmic element to them.  My gut feeling is the karma for this particular situation will come back around by the end of the year, rather than lifetimes from now.  The Nine of Swords tells me this week ends with a feeling of exhaustion and disappointment, probably in yourself.  All you can really do is take stock of how you handled things and make an action plan as to how you’ll do better.  Don’t make excuses.  Don’t blame others, even though I really think there was some manipulation from the authority figure in question.  Just clear your schedule for a day or two, clear your mind, and figure out how to do things differently.  

But That was Last Week…

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 9/15/20 – 9/22/20 and I got:  Nine of Pentacles (number 9, self-sufficiency, inner and outer wealth, a reward that has been a long time coming, a bonus or recognition for hard work, messages, and enjoying the fruits of one’s labor); Princess of Wands (young fire sign person, an energetic young person, creative inspiration, possibly pregnancy, and new projects and ventures); Five of Wands (number 5, competition, jealousy, the need to defend oneself, a challenging time at work, having one’s opinions and convictions questioned, and the need to prove one’s point); and Judgment (number 20, seeing oneself in a new light, an inevitable change, liberation, the need to change one’s habits and ways of thinking, seeing the bigger picture, the end of a cycle, and confidence to make a decision).  Not to make excuses for myself, but my inability to handle the chaos of last week had an upside.  Notice any themes from last week’s spread to this week’s?  You probably will by the time we’re done.  The first thing that jumps out is last week’s spread ends with the Nine of Swords, whereas this week’s begins with the Nine of Pentacles.  The Nine of Swords is a card of exhaustion, discouragement, stress, and depression.  The Nine of Pentacles is a “good news” card that shows you can sit back and reap the rewards for your hard work.  In numerology, nine energy is transcendent.  These cards demonstrate this because I feel like the Nine of Pentacles in this spread tells me you can—and probably will—turn a negative into a positive.  You will be recognized this week for not acting like a procrastinating, sarcastic, and passive-aggressive ass hat last week.  The energy also has an “I told you so” feel to it.  It’s like you had your doubts about someone’s character, kept it to yourself, and now they’re showing their true colors.  Don’t gloat too hard because Judgment shows me you are going to get validation about a situation you are in the process of walking away from, which usually means you are going to be inconvenienced or offended somehow.  Judgment is the last card and nine energy is all about cycles completing, so whatever this offensive obstacle is feels like a final nail in the coffin.  Anyway, the Princess of Wands is sandwiched between the Nine of Pentacles and the Five of Wands.  So we have a week that starts with turning a negative into a positive, which probably frees up a decent amount of mental and emotional energy.  I feel like you or someone around you will be high energy and creative this week, but the Five of Wands shows me someone will want to piss in your Cheerios.  This energy feels like the high school mean girl who isn’t in the headspace to handle overly caffeinated cheerleaders and breathy drama nerds, so she bullies them.  The Five of Wands suuuuuuuccckkksss because it is a card of jealousy and competition.  Ever heard the phrase “light attracts bugs”?  If you express your enthusiasm or try to implement your great ideas, expect at least one person to come out of the woodwork as a shit-talker, copycat, or most likely both.  If you’re not the person with the enthusiastic creativity, expect to feel a little triggered by someone else’s bubbly optimism.  Please don’t be the mean girl in this situation.  The larger picture is a karmic one.  Judgment tells me you are in the process of walking away from something because that’s what is supposed to happen.  You are being steered away from a job or group of people because it is a dead end.  In order to do that, you need to be shown how you really feel about the situation, others’ jealousy and mind games, or a little of both.  By the end of this week, you will either feel validated in your decision to walk away from something or you will see that you need to start the separation process.  

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

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 are displacing 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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point in September, 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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

At the Crossroads: Hecate Spell for Protection and Guidance 9/9/20

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.

Murder hornets!  Protests!  Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter!  When Karens attack!  Cancel culture!  And a certain virus…

20-FUCKING-20, ammirite?

I don’t have to say much more than that as we begin our last fiscal quarter of a memorable year.  But wait, there’s more.  Of fucking course the stars have a little something up their cosmic sleeves.  Two somethings, actually.  They are Mars going retrograde in the sign of Aries 9/9/20 and your North node being in chatty, crazy Gemini until 2022.  Here’s the quick scoop on both of these happenings:

  • Mars Retrograde in Aries:  As the name implies, this is a period of time where Mars orbits backwards.  It’s not as talked-about as Mercury retrograde, but you may want to take note all the same.  Any planet going retrograde means you are entering a time when you will need to backtrack, review choices you made, adjust your listening-to-speaking ratio, and maybe do some strategic planning.  Mars going retrograde in its home sign of Aries is a big deal because that only magnifies the effects of the retrograde.  Get ready for some intensity until Mars goes direct November 13, 2020.  If you want a little more intel on how Mars retrograde will affect your sign, this article breaks it down well.  The basic effects of Mars going into Aries are:
    • The need to take action.  You will be put into situations where a quick decision needs to be made.
    • You will get the impetus to act on your true desires.
    • You will be impatient with fluff, filler, gossip, and chit chat.  No tea for you, thanks.
    • You may become more self-conscious or aware of your strengths and flaws.
    • You will either become stronger in your identity or may decide to get a new one.
    • You may go on somewhat of a “hero’s journey”—self-discovery via being presented with a major challenge—during this time.
    • You may get more acquainted with your dark side.  Hello, me.  Meet the real me.
  • Your North Node in Gemini till 2022:  Lunar Nodes are mathematical points, rather than actual planets or asteroids.  Nodes are slow-moving and always, always, always in retrograde.  They stay in each sign for about a year and a half.  Lunar Nodes show up in your chart to signify important or “fated” events, where whatever choice you make will strongly influence the direction of your life.  Astrologers use the analogy of a dragon to describe Lunar Nodes, with the North Node being the head and the South Node representing the tail.  This particular nodal “dragon” has its head (North) in Gemini with its tail (South) in Sagittarius.  The impact is going to be a little different for each sign and you can read about that in this article.  The general themes of this karmic pivot point are going to be:
    • Truthful communication.  You may find yourself speaking from the heart more, or maybe cutting the fake people out of your life.  
    • You may find yourself fact-checking, reading nutrition labels, or just researching major purchases more.
    • While chit chat and bullshit are going to grate on your last damn nerve, you might find yourself being more neighborly.  This means you will re-evaluate the way you treat people.
    • Your boundaries and priorities may change.
    • You might explore what sustainability means to you and what you can do to help.
    • Your choices will push things not in alignment with them out of your life.  Expect certain people, places, and situations from your life to—POOF!!—be gone.
    • If you have a book in you, now might be the time you write it.
    • This is a good time to go back to school.
    • You will question what your culture, religion, family, occupation, etc. expects from you.  
    • You may want to change your life to bring you more adventure and freedom in the future.  This might mean financial planning or making major career moves.

It’s a wee bit to digest.  However, whether 20-fucking-20 becomes a shit stain on your best pair of emotional underwear or something you can upcycle depends on how you deal with this crossroads.

Enter Hecate

Hecate shows up in Greek and Roman literature as an Earth goddess.  She governs manifestation, magic, and being at a crossroads.  Although many people mistake Hecate for the Celtic triple goddess—aka Maiden, Mother, Crone—because she is pictured in triplicate, Hecate deals more with magic, transformation, and keeping away evil spirits.  Hecate is usually depicted as three goddesses standing back-to-back, signifying her ability to watch from all angles at once.  This comes in handy when you’re trying to make a tough decision or have already made a decision, but you want a plan of attack.

Legend has it that Hecate witnessed Hades kidnapping Persephone, but didn’t stop it for some reason.  Ancient gods had no good samaritan laws.  In fact, methinks they had some serious making shit worse laws.  Maybe guilt got the better of her because she led the search with a torch in each hand.  Whatever the case, homegirl did an impressive enough job to be forever commemorated where crossroads can be found.

Hecate and I danced around each other for a while.  She is another deity that mostly spoke to me through my late friend, then went MIA till this year.  Hecate has been in my ear for about a week now.  Her presence feels quiet and void-like.  I keep seeing the colors charcoal gray and red when she’s near.  Her voice sounds like a cross between that wise, matter-of-fact aunt who politely lectures you over tea and that small voice you hear when your conscience speaks.

Potential Offerings to Hecate

Hecate is easy to please, thankfully.  She is also incredibly protective if she chooses to help you.  Be sure to put a round mirror under your candles, even if you aren’t doing a protection spell.  I would also use a mugwort or sage wand, in addition to the normal candles, oil, and mead/white wine offering.  Hecate is a pretty understanding goddess, but don’t engage her with any bravado or entitlement.  She hates that with a passion.  Also, gratitude is a make-or-break thing to Hecate, so be sure to do a devotional act at least once a week while you are doing this spell.

Things Hecate Likes:

Colors: black, charcoal gray, silver, or red

Smudge Wands/Herbs: mugwort, lavender, bay leaves, mandrake, or sage

Stones: clear quartz, onyx, jasper, or obsidian

Objects: keys, bones, seashells, mirrors, a locket, framed picture of something dear to you, or a lock of hair

Food and Drink: mead, white wine, pomegranate juice, apple cider, honey, garlic, or almonds

Acts of Devotion: volunteering to help a loved one, communing with Hecate during a walk outside, giving up a bad habit, or telling (writing) her a story about something that was painful for you

(NOTE:  I’m now an affiliate at MagickPlanet.com.  This is exciting because they have a fantastic selection of herbs, candles, tarot cards, and other altar supplies.  You can use my link here.  Just be sure to use coupon code spicevicious when you check out so you can save 5% on your total order.)

Spell to Hecate

What You Need:

  • 1 black, dark gray, or red novena candle  (My favorite places to buy candles are Magick Planet, Dragon Marsh, Panhalla Esoteric, or check out this custom one on Etsy.)
  • A food or drink offering (see previous section)
  • A sage, lavender, or mugwort smudge stick (Mugwort seems to be her favorite.)
  • Benzoin incense (Panhalla Esoteric, Magick Planet, or Etsy carry it.)
  • A round mirror
  • An object that is personal to you (see previous section)
  • A clear quartz, jasper, obsidian, or onyx stone or piece of jewelry
  • A notebook and pen to write down your stray thoughts
  • About 30 minutes of time per night for 30 days
  • The self-discipline to do at least one devotional act per week (see previous section)

What You Will Do:

  1.  Start with a short meditation.  This one has a nice minimalist vibe.
  2. Set out the food or drink offering, smudge stick, object, stone, candle, and your journaling supplies.
  3. Set your intention and invite Hecate’s wisdom into your space.  As you do, light your smudge stick and visualize the smoke not only clearing the negativity around you, but also sending an invitation to Hecate.
  4. Give thanks to Hecate and tell her about your offering.  A simple gratitude invocation is: “Blessed Hecate, please accept this wine, this candle, and this stone/object.  I give thanks to you for filling my life, my space, and my aura with your divine light.”
  5. Light your candle and incense.  Visualize your stone and objects absorbing your intentions and filling with Hecate’s love and protection.
  6. There are a few good Hecate invocations, but I really like this invocation from Hekatean Witchcraft.  Recite the following three times: “Prayer to Hekate for Guidance

Oh great Hekate Dadouchos, torch bearer of Persephone and the Underworld, I appeal to you in my time of confusion. As I am stuck, I ask that you shine your torch light on the way to happiness.

Oh great Hekate Enodia, mistress of the ways, as I approach this crossroads in my life, I pray that you show me the right road to travel on.

Oh great Hekate Propolos, leader and guide, please be my companion and lead me on the roads to success and prosperity.

Oh great Hekate Phosphorus, bringer of light, please shine your sacred fires to illuminate the darkness that is my current confusion so that I may see clearly what to do.

Oh great goddess Hekate, to you I pray. Blessed be thy name, and blessed be thy will.”

  1. Make your petition to Hecate.  Be humble and sincere.  Gratitude is everything to Hecate.  Invite her to take your offering.
  2. Spend the next few minutes writing down your stray thoughts and inspirations.
  3. Extinguish the candle and thank Hecate for her help.
  4. Make a point to do your chosen devotional activity at least once in the coming week.  Do it daily, if you can.

If you need a little extra during your time with Hecate, try this meditation before bed:

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point in September, 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.  A little bird told me that Part Five will be here by the end of the year, but we shall see…  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 9/2/20 – 9/9/20

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’m still thinking about cognitive distortions and their capacity to fuck up your life.  I have something planned that will help explain black-and-white thinking, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, let’s move on to overgeneralization.  Overgeneralization is a thought error that involves making a crap ton of assumptions about a person, place, concept, situation, et al based on limited information or experience.  I think about this one every time I scroll through social media…  Wonder why?  

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Here are some examples of overgeneralization you might encounter in your daily life:

  • Your colleague forgets to close out a file at work, then spends the rest of the day assuming he’ll be fired.
  • You get a C in your biology class, then decide you aren’t smart enough to go to college.
  • Your roommate—who has never failed to pay rent before—is $50 short.  You decide that they will just keep doing it and are a big loser, so you give them 30 days to get lost.
  • Your cousin fails to fact-check the latest conspiracy and decides to repost some false information.  When you ask them why they did it, they tell you a personal anecdote about the one time they had a bad experience with “that community” and believe this post reflects their true nature.
  • There was a group of holier-than-though Christian kids in your high school who bullied you relentlessly.  To this day, you cannot be bothered to get to know anyone who identifies as Christian because all Christians have to be like the bullies you met.
  • Your sibling posts some sensationalized crap about how some activist group is really a bunch of terrorists.  Fact-checking your dickhead sib only leads to an argument, where they literally tell you that they haven’t bothered to read your responses, but they’re pretty sure you’re attention-seeking and trying to make yourself look good because that’s what all SJW types do.
  • Your brother just got sober after years of crippling heroin addiction.  You offer support, but he tells you that you can’t possibly help him because you haven’t been through the same thing.  Every addict knows no non-addict has anything to offer them.

As you can see, overgeneralization involves a lot of bigotry and assumption.  It also involved a level of feeling better than others which is easier to do from behind a keyboard.  It is also certainly easier to do than plucking your head out of your ass and examining the evidence.  However, if you’re tired of the stench and view of your rectum, there are a couple things you can do.  One of my favorite workbooks for this sort of thing is Byron Katie’s The Work.  It can get a little intense, but is it any worse than how you might be holding yourself back now?  Try these journal prompts for more immediate gratification:

  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization at work.
  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization in your romantic relationships.
  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization at school.
  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization in your family relationships.
  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization in your friendships.
  • Describe a time when you used overgeneralization in your finances.
  • For each category, answer the following questions:
    • Who were the other people, institutions, or entities involved?  What did they do?
    • What were you doing before you caught yourself overgeneralizing?
    • What was the event that caught you to overgeneralize?
    • What was the overgeneralizing thought that you had in this situation?  How did this thought make you feel?
    • Who or what were you making the generalization about?  When is the first time you can remember thinking about this group of people or institution?
    • What is at least one piece of evidence based on your personal experience that makes your generalization true?
    • What is at least one piece of evidence based on an outside or objective source that makes your generalization true?  Have you bothered to fact-check or research this?  Why or why not?
    • What is at least one piece of evidence based on your personal experience that makes your generalization false?
    • What is at least one piece of evidence based on an outside or objective source that makes your generalization false?  Have you bothered to fact-check or research this?  Why or why not?
    • Based on your answers, are you more likely to base your opinions about things on evidence or emotion?  

After that, check out your September 2020 prediction in this pick-a-card:

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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 9/2/20 – 9/9/20 and I got:  Four of Swords (number 4, the need to rest and take a break, rest after illness, retreat from worldly stressors, a time to think things through, be still and quiet, and sometimes physical illness trying to tell one something); Nine of Pentacles (number 9, self-sufficiency, inner and outer wealth, a victory or reward after a long wait, victory after loneliness and sacrifice, and time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labors); Three of Cups (number 3, celebration, friendship, time for preparation, possibly the birth of a child or new project, and enjoying a bountiful harvest); and King of Wands (fire sign male, someone who puts their creations into the world, someone who does not suffer fools gladly, someone who can be judgmental, hasty judgments, and being ready to put one’s creative projects into the world).  There are a couple themes that immediately jump out and slap me across the face.  First, although there is no Major Arcana card in this spread, there is one of each suit represented.  This tells me the first week of September is one to balance your head, heart, and physical body.  I feel like whatever you set into motion to get yourself into alignment will build slowly, but have long-lasting effects.  The second theme that strikes me here is the need to observe and heal.  The Four of Swords kicks off this theme, as it is a card of taking a break after an illness and/or mental stress.  The Four can also be interpreted as someone else pulling away from you, getting out of a toxic situation, or licking your wounds.  This is a great week to step back and observe all of the leftover emotions from last week so that you can process them.  The Nine of Pentacles is a kinder, gentler respite card.  The Nine shows me you have been working hard at something that was potentially delayed or disappointing (probably the disappointment signified in last week’s reading.  Essentially, these first two cards show me that you recently lost something, only to gain something greater provided you don’t fuck it up by overthinking it.  These cards say your best action is to chill the fuck out and work through the thoughts and feelings that have historically led you to chase your tail.  The third theme is one of celebration and gratitude, which is indicated by the Nine of Pentacles and Three of Cups.  Don’t be afraid to recognize your good qualities.  Feel free to take a step back and think about how far you’ve come.  By the same token, recognize the good in others too.  Paradoxically, this spread ends with the King of Wands, who is all about action.  The positive meaning of the King is putting your plans into action and making your creative projects a reality.  The negative meaning of the King is being a judgmental prick who doesn’t grant second chances.  Based on the rest of the spread, my thought would be the best advice is to focus on organizing your vision and projects whilst refusing to entertain the unnecessary.  The King of Wands and Nine of Pentacles are two great cards to see here because I feel like they’re saying this rest period will help you gather the strength, clarity, and creativity you need to put a plan into motion.  Just don’t expect to feel up to the task until the end of the week.

For those of you who may need a little more this week, I asked the Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot Deck for the mantra for a week.  The definition of mantra for my nefarious purposes is: a present-tense statement that you can repeat to yourself during times of anxiety, sadness, or uncertainty.  It’s not an affirmation because the phrasing is more pragmatic and neutral, than overtly positive.  Here’s what I got:

The Card:  Six of Fire

Meaning: Number 6, victory, good news, being recognized for a job well done, rewards or bonuses, rewards for good decisions, promotion or job offer, and acknowledgement.

Mantra:  I graciously accept positive recognition from others.

  • I allow myself to experience success without shame or guilt.
  • I get out of my own way when working towards my goals.
  • I allow others to experience success without jealousy or anger.
  • I make my choices from a pragmatic mindset and without regret.
  • I allow myself the time and space to finish my projects.
  • I respect others’ visions as much as I respect my own.
  • I advocate for my projects and visions lovingly and respectfully.

 

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

 

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

 

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point in September, 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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 8/24/20 – 9/1/20

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.

Cognitive distortions have been heavily on my mind lately.  I’m not sure if all of the stuff I’ve been writing for Psych2Go, feeling completely mind-fucked from reading others’ opinions, completely giving up on Pro Trump loved ones, or having to sift news from government propaganda.  This 2015 study points to the link between social media dependence and emotional problems, so maybe my feeling that social media is a cesspool isn’t completely unfounded.  

Anyhoo, the quick definition of a cognitive distortion is an error in your thinking that leads you to believe there is a cause/effect relationship between two unrelated things.  These glitches in your mental operating system come in many flavors.  Each of these flavors has the power to create a special brand of indigestion that creates some of the following symptoms:

  • Misunderstandings
  • Self-sabotage
  • Feelings of alienation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Missed opportunities
  • Poor communication

I will probably get into cognitive distortions and logical fallacies one-by-one because, y’know, election season.  But for this week, let’s ponder Step One of the solution:

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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 from 8/24/20 – 8/31/20 and I got:  Five of Cups (number 5, grief, feeling hopeless, all is not lost, the need to let go of an old emotional issue, and temporary pain); Two of Pentacles (number 2, mood swings, balancing different parts of life, moderation, a warning against one-sided relationships, the need to think about how one is dividing one’s time, money fluctuations, and the need to prioritize); The High Priestess (number 2, stillness, the need to go within, the need to listen closely, someone who offers sound advice, the need to use downtime constructively, an intuitive person, and the need to be patient and resourceful); and The Moon (number 18, gaining insight from dreams, moodiness, heightened intuition, the need to pay attention to one’s emotional triggers, “mommy issues”, and the urge to shut down).  The vibe around this spread is pretty deep.  It starts with the Five of Cups, which is one of the more emotional grief cards in the deck.  The Five is not as stressful and angsty as, say, the Nine of Swords.  However, it packs a major punch because it is directly rooted in an old emotional issue.  The good news with the Five is the energy is temporary and changeable.  Expect a few reversals and ride the wave.  The moodiness theme continues with the Two of Pentacles and the Moon.  The Two of Pentacles suggests there is a practical root to any mood swings you might have lately.  This means part of your moodiness has to do with disruptions in your daily routine, trying to do too many things at once, and doing more with less.  The High Priestess next to the Two of Pentacles tells me this is a good week to take a look at how you’re spending your time.  The emotional nature of the Five of Cups makes me think there is a people-pleasing aspect to your schedule being congested, or you are trying to compensate for an insecurity.  The Moon emphasizes the watery nature of the Five of Cups because it speaks to the Jungian symbolism of water, which is our unconscious and intuitive nature.  Your emotions are always trying to tell you something, but they will probably start yelling this week.  The Moon and the High Priestess tell me any delays or downtime this week will probably be filled with a quick psychic flash.  

I’m not doing a mantra this week.  Instead, ask yourself the following questions in your journal, before bed, or before meditating:

  • What am I being triggered by right now?
  • When was the first time I remember feeling like this?
  • Who is the first person in my life I think of when I feel like this?  What happened?
  • What is the first thing that comes to mind about this person when I feel like this?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What part of myself felt threatened when I was triggered? 
  • When is the first time I remember feeling triggered like this?  What happened?
  • What is something I’m telling myself, about myself when I feel triggered?

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

 

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

 

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point this month, 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 going live on Amazon any day now.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 8/19/20 – 8/26/20

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.

Those of you that follow me on Instagram have probably noticed that I’ve been a wee bit lazy about the Message of the Day.  I don’t have any real excuses, but I do admit my time management has really sucked for the past month.  One reason for that is I have been working on this black hole-level heavy article on emotional abuse.  It hasn’t left me with much mental energy to think about the world, but it has left me with a few questions.  Once I saw the world through the lens of potential emotional abuse, I really had to think about my behavior in a couple ways.  One, I thought about the times when I acted emotionally abusive towards others.  I’m not proud of it and want to heal the parts of myself that felt threatened so that I don’t do it in the future.  Just know that it was never deliberate.  I also had to think about the times in my life when I was on the receiving end of emotional abuse.  That said, here are my thinker questions for this week:

  • What behaviors from the article can you relate to the most?
  • What were the situations in your life that triggered these behaviors in you?
  • When you acted this way, what part of your identity did you feel was being threatened?
  • What behaviors from this article were you the target of?
  • What parts of this pattern do you want to change?
  • What are you willing to do in order to change this?

I’ll probably go deeper on the topic of emotional abuse in the coming weeks, but writing this article fried my fucking brain.  

On a lighter note, my guilty pleasure this week has been watching the conversations between Richard Grannon (Spartan Life Coach) and Pierre XO.  Here’s an example of why they make my cold, black heart smile:

 

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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 8/19/20 – 8/26/20 and I got:  Queen of Wands (fire sign female, possibly narcissism or self-importance, a loyal and trustworthy person, a passionate person, straightforward person, creative and generous, and someone who needs a lot of admiration); Nine of Swords (number 9, depression, the need for a clear head, things not as bad as they seem, sadness, mental stress, and experiencing several difficulties); Wheel of Fortune (number 10, positive changes, karmic events, working with natural life cycles, questioning whether one is a victim or an actor in one’s life, seizing an opportunity, and the need to be observant); and Princess of Wands (young fire sign female, new ideas or projects, initiative, creativity, new opportunities, energetic and hopeful person).  There are a couple things going on here.  First, the spread begins and ends with a Queen and Princess of the same suit.  This tells me there is a family dynamic issue at play here.  The Queen of Wands is generous and loyal, but you had better not disrespect her or outshine her in some way.  The energy here feels like a mother who goes out of her way to compete with her daughter.  The energy around this queen is supportive of the princess, until the princess says something that doesn’t follow the script.  The Queen of Wands isn’t necessarily a literal mother, but could be a boss, mentor, or older colleague who is sensitive, overly image conscious, and maybe insecure.  These cards are of the same suit, which typically means the two people involved are from the same family or have some sort of family-like bond.  The Nine of Swords shows me whatever is done or said will most likely be accidental, as the Princess is usually an energetic person who acts out of enthusiasm.  The Nine shows me what is done or said will accidentally make the Queen feel threatened.  The Wheel of Fortune shows me that you have choices as to how you will react, no matter whether you are the Queen or Princess this week.  If you are the Queen this week, you have the choice to lash out and lick your wounds or to try and see the Princess’s behavior as about her enthusiasm, rather than as an attack on you.  The Princess has a couple choices as well.  She can either absorb the Queen’s punishing attacks and take the criticism as gospel, or the Princess can realize the attack was about the Queen’s insecurities.  The Nine of Swords shows me both sides will be wounded at first, as whatever the Princess does to outshine the Queen will accidentally hit the Queen right where it hurts.  And this Queen knows exactly where to hit right back.  No matter how you choose to handle this relationship, maybe this is a good week to understand it has a few major weak spots.  My advice would be to take some mental notes about how everyone involved—including you—deals with this perceived slight and adjust how you act with this person accordingly, without compromising your integrity.

 

For those of you who may need a little more this week, I asked the Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot Deck for the mantra for a week.  The definition of mantra for my nefarious purposes is: a present-tense statement that you can repeat to yourself during times of anxiety, sadness, or uncertainty.  It’s not an affirmation because the phrasing is more pragmatic and neutral, than overtly positive.  Here’s what I got:

The Card:  The Star

Meaning: Number 17, Archangel Jophiel, happy times ahead, optimism, make long-term plans, being on the right path, have faith, and a sense of meaning or purpose.

Mantras:  I understand that I can choose how I react to others’ negativity.

  • I allow myself to take advantage of opportunities in my life.
  • I take steps daily to have faith in myself and my abilities.
  • I allow others to have their successes and victories.
  • I understand that others’ insecurities are theirs to deal with.
  • I understand that others are responsible for their own destiny and baggage.
  • I take daily steps to make the choices that are the best and most positive for me.

 

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

 

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

 

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point this month, 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 going live on Amazon any day now.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

 

Tarot Reading of the Week: 8/11/20 – 8/18/20

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.

My instinct during election season is to hibernate, even though I know that’s not what I’ve ever done.  I have already recruited my old friend Marshall Delaware to make a bunch of politically-themed posts as a social commentary.  You can practically smell the disgust for Trump coming out of my pores.  Methinks hibernation isn’t possible.

May as well double down, was my first thought.  Just rip the bandage off and parade the skulls of your enemies.

But something told me that was a horrible idea that probably smells disgusting.  Then I wondered what is the driving force behind the “fuck it” thoughts that come before the double-down behaviors.  

It turns out the urge to go out guns a-blazin’ stems from an error in logic called the sunk cost fallacy.  The gist of the sunk cost fallacy is you will continue to repeat a behavior that you know isn’t working for you because you feel you need to get something out of the whole fandango.  Some examples you may recognize:

  • Pre-coronavirus, you went to an all-you-can-eat buffet that served some of the nastiest, most gelatinous food you’ve ever eaten.  And you weren’t even that hungry.  But you continued eating because you may as well get your money’s worth.
  • You keep an expensive pair of shoes that you never wear because you already paid for them.
  • You stay in a relationship that has gone stale because you’ve already put in the time and starting over would be too difficult.
  • When you get caught doing something wrong or stupid, you continue to argue your stance to the point of hitting below the belt because if you’re gonna go, you may as well go big.
  • You found out that your political party, cause, belief system, celebrity, or religious group of choice isn’t as great as you thought.  However, you keep defending them because you’ve invested a lot of emotional and mental energy in them, so you may as well get something out of it.

Are you catching the theme here?  The sunk cost fallacy involves a great deal of pride and entitlement.  The sunk cost fallacy also doesn’t give a shit about what political party you stan, your religious beliefs, your individuality, or all that affectatious garbage you do to keep up appearances.  None of us are immune to behaving this way.  If this resonates with you, ask yourself:

  • How does the sunk cost fallacy affect how I spend my money?  What am I afraid of losing or attracting in my financial life?
  • How does the sunk cost fallacy affect my relationships at work?  What am I afraid of losing or attracting in my career?
  • How does the sunk cost fallacy affect my family relationships?  What am I afraid of losing or attracting in my family relationships?
  • How does the sunk cost fallacy affect my romantic relationships?  What am I afraid of losing or attracting in my romantic relationships?
  • How does the sunk cost fallacy affect my friendships?  What am I afraid of losing or attracting in my friendships?
  • Is this something I want in my New Normal (™)?
  • What would I like to do differently?  How can I start doing that now?

If you’re still in the mood for a little metaphysical tough love, check out Stargirl the Practical Witch’s latest:

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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 you need to know from 8/11/20 – 8/18/20 and I got:  Temperance (number 14, moderation, balancing the light and dark aspects of oneself, staying grounded while manifesting, balance, the need to use critical thinking, a warning against one-sided relationships, and the need to think things through); Ace of Pentacles (number 1 or 11, new life on the material plane, new career or financial opportunities, success and prosperity, reward or bonus, life is stable, and a new sense of self-worth); Six of Pentacles (number 6, giving and receiving help, help with no strings attached, charity, equality, practical help at just the right time, sharing, support, and reaping what one sows); Ten of Swords (number 10, back-stabbing, gossip, slander, the power of words, time to leave a bad situation, mental stress, the need for a vacation, the need to relieve tension, and possibly faraway help).  The general vibe around this spread feels mostly positive, but contains a confirmation that someone around you really sucks.  I feel like the Ten of Swords is telling us the human tumor in your anus is someone you suspected was fake, two-faced, jealous, or would throw you under the bus to get the spotlight on them.  This tumor gets exposed because you are being presented with some solid opportunities for advancement, which I feel you are either taking advantage of or are about to take the first step.  These opportunities are represented by the Ace of Pentacles and the Six of Pentacles.  The Ace speaks to new financial opportunities that bring a sense of grounding, whereas the Six tells me you have a great deal of support in making this happen.  The people tied to these opportunities think highly of you and your abilities, even if you don’t.  The Temperance card shows me you will need to reconcile your insecurities with what these new opportunities will require of you.  I feel like the first three cards are saying you can rise to the challenge, but you will need to face your fears regarding asking for help, feeling like you suck because others have put you down, issues with procrastination, and your tendency to shoot yourself in the foot.  The spread begins with the Temperance card and ends with the Ten of Swords.  This combo tells me a couple things.  First, the gossip and slander implied by the Ten of Swords might come out as shady feedback disguised as advice.  If you get a pearl-clutching Karen who tells you how to conduct yourself, pay attention to how this feedback feels.  This shady bitch is someone who uses 10% truth with 90% venom, so take the small kernel of truth and ignore the rest.  Second, the Temperance card tells me you need to pay attention to how you feel when you tell certain people your good news.  In addition to Karen, you may get that two-faced bitch who practices courtesan politics.  You know the type, she may smile to your face and ask about this opportunity, but then make fun of it around your haters.  Beware of someone who seems a little too happy for you or feels like they have an edge to them.  They’re gathering intel, not conversing.  Finally, the combination of the Temperance card and the Ten of Swords shows me you need to take time for yourself too because there’s a lot of energy and stress during this transition.

For those of you who may need a little more this week, I asked the Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot Deck for the mantra for a week.  The definition of mantra for my nefarious purposes is: a present-tense statement that you can repeat to yourself during times of anxiety, sadness, or uncertainty.  It’s not an affirmation because the phrasing is more pragmatic and neutral, than overtly positive.  Here’s what I got:

The Card:  Seven of Earth

Meaning:  Number 7, laying the foundation for the future, a temporary pause or delay, worrying about nothing, the need to have patience, trust the process, keep going, the need to recharge, and the need to plan one’s next steps.

Mantras:  I use this time to plan for my future.

  • I understand that any delays are a chance for me to recharge.
  • I use any delays to regroup and review my progress.
  • I allow others to work through their unique processes.
  • I allow myself the time and space to work through my process.
  • I focus on my next steps, while remaining present in my life.
  • I take one step at a time.
  • I take whatever small steps I can towards my goal.

 

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

 

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

 

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point this month, 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 going live on Amazon any day now.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Doing Right vs. Being Right. Why Apocalypse Now- Redux Should Matter to You.

By: 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.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say that you hate war movies. All of that jingoistic rah-rah macho bullshit, good guys and bad guys, they’re all the same and most of the time that’s true. But not this movie. Not “Apocalypse Now- Redux”. This movie isn’t afraid to be different. This movie isn’t afraid to examine the ugly truth about human nature. When you watch this movie, you’re being forced to witness the beauty of the poetry of madness and that’s a more daunting experience than any horror movie that you have ever watched.  

I saw this movie when it first came out in 1979. I was 12. Back then it was just called, “Apocalypse Now”. The “Redux” part came much later when it was re-released with about 28 extra minutes of footage. Those 28 minutes made it a much better movie and that’s the version that I’m endorsing. I’ve watched this movie many times over the past four decades, and yet it was only a little while ago that the 53-year old me, the me who was personally struggling with a lot of things finally saw the truth of what this movie was getting at. The truth of AN-R is more desperately poignant now than it has ever been in the past. This realization has been helping me to see things in my own life on a CBT level, and that has spared me from even more emotional misery in terms of anxiety and depression.

AN-R comes down to the issue of “doing right” versus “being right”.

This movie has been out for 41 years, either you’ve seen it or else you have no desire to see it so if I drop some spoilers on you TFB. Those spoilers are important in order for you to understand what may very well help you with the emotional struggles that you have going on.

In the movie, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz tells the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President what they need to do in order to win the war in Vietnam. They didn’t appreciate what he had to say probably because he told them that their approach was completely wrong. Subsequently, they shot down all of his recommendations and they sealed the report that he had issued so that nobody else could read his criticisms. He didn’t appreciate the fact that they didn’t appreciate what he had to say and he in turn shot down a bright future for himself even as “he was being groomed for one of the top slots in the Corporation. General, maybe even Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Instead he demanded that he be allowed to join the Green Berets and undergo Special Forces training. His request was denied twice, and then they gave it to him on the third swing because he threatened to quit the Army.

In due course, Kurtz, “split from the whole fucking program”, and he became the ultimate rogue warrior.

Kurtz wanted to “be right” so he allowed himself to be seduced by his ego. If Kurtz wanted to “do right” all he had to do was tell the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he was quitting the army. He was a 20-year man so he could have grabbed his pension. Then with his impressive credentials he could have scored a cushy job at the RanD Corporation as some kind of a military consultant and he would have made a very good living telling those CIA guys what to do about various covert issues. The he could have been a full-time parent to his son, and he could have focused on his marriage. If Kurtz was certain that he was right, (and he was), then in a decade he could have watched the last of the Americans fleeing from Saigon on the news just like I did as a boy. Then he could have written a book called, “Why We Lost”, and it would have been a best-seller. In certain circles he would have become a celebrity. He would have been rich. His son would have grown up to be a well-adjusted sort and there may have been 2-3 more little Kurtzlings who would have also been doing splendidly in the lap of upper-middle class affluence within a stable (and presumably loving) family environment.

If he had chosen that option he would have been “doing right”.

Instead, he became obsessed with “being right”.

Being right means conflict.

Being right means war.

Being right means that Kurtz’s ego wanted to win no matter what he had to do, just as long as he was right.

Usually when we come across a story about someone heeding to the dictates of their ego, they always end up on Skid Row with absolutely nothing. They have no money, no friends, no intimate partners, and it always turned out that their original assessment was dead wrong. That didn’t happen to Kurtz. In his own way he became a success from within his jungle hideaway. According to Harrison Ford he was worshipped as a god. He had an army of ruthless killers that would have followed him to Hell and presumably he had access to all of the perks that come with being the boss of your own cult.

And yet, Kurtz hated what he was doing and more importantly he hated himself. He wanted to die and the only way that was going to happen is if the army sent an assassin who wouldn’t fall for his bullshit. To Kurtz’s ego, being whacked would have sufficed as the ultimate vindication that he was right, and Uncle Sam was wrong. No other form of death would have been good enough. Why else would the army kill him if he wasn’t right and he made them look like fools. He even hated what he had created because he ordered Captain Willard to carpet-bomb the entire compound after he killed him.

Kurtz chose “being right” over “doing right”. Doing right means making rational choices bereft of ego. Being right means being driven by your ego until you end up in a really miserable fucking place whereby you can’t even derive any sense of satisfaction from your accomplishments.

If Kurtz had focused on doing right, he would have eventually received his vindication and he would have been able to feel satisfied with himself in the end. Instead he was an apparent winner who only wanted to die on his terms because he felt like a total loser.

We all need to learn from Colonel Walter E. Kurtz.

As he was dying, he whispered, “The Horror. The Horror”. What he was referring to was the horrors that we are capable of committing in the name of EGO, just for the sake of being right. None of us are above “splitting from the whole fucking program” and entering the heart of darkness just to prove a point. This is where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help all of us deconstruct a personal issue so that we end up concentrating on doing right. With CBT we just need to write down a few pertinent questions:

What am I feeling right now?

What am I thinking about right now?

Why am I thinking this?

Is there another, more rational way, of looking at this situation?

CBT isn’t easy. It emotionally hurts but it does work, and more importantly it’ll stop you from doing those things that your ego wants you to do. Your ego, my ego, doesn’t give a fuck about our well-being or our ultimate destination. It only cares about winning. It only cares about being right. With CBT there’s always a more rational way of getting to your own personal vindication. It’ll take more time, more effort, and more self-discipline but it’ll get you where you want to go without having to sacrifice your core principles. 

The CBT guidebook that I was studying from when I re-watched AN-R was:

“Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- Techniques to improve your life”- by Christine Wilding. 

She does a splendid job of breaking down the process to its most basic elements in order to teach us how to manage our depression, our anxiety, our stress, and the anger that we internalize. All the things that make us feel like shit until it seems like our ego is the only one that’s making any fucking sense. That’s not a good place to be. Read what she has to say and then watch Apocalypse Now- Redux. Ask yourself if you want the kind of outcome that Kurtz got in light of the fact that he had options that were a lot more emotionally appealing. 

Anyway, this concludes my bonus article. I hope you found it enlightening. This is Marshall Delaware as always saying do the best that you can to be the best that you can.

NOTE FROM SPICE:  Now do you see why Marshall Delaware has had a chunk of my heart for 19 years?  If you like what you just read, please email Emcee MD at ggm92666@yahoo.ca .  I don’t know what he’s charging these days, but his readings are worth it.  This I know from experience.

Check out our latest political collab He’s coming back at some point this month, 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 going live on Amazon any day now.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 8/4/20 – 8/10/20

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.

Social media is a fucking cesspool, but it has proven a few informal hypotheses I’ve collected over the years.  These hypotheses apply to all religions, creeds, colors, belief systems, genders, orientations, et al:

  • It wasn’t the lack of information that kept people ignorant.
  • Cats are awesome.
  • Most people are a little shady in the name of attention and keeping up appearances.
  • We’re a lonely species.
  • It’s easier to keep friends when you don’t know what they’re thinking.
  • We’re not as tolerant of others’ views as we think.
  • Most people value being right over their relationships.
  • Mob psychology and groupthink is some dangerous shit, man.
  • People who use the word sheeple or the phrase those other news stations need to trade some of that moral superiority for self-reflection.

That’s not exactly inspirational, but let me tell you a story that will help you see where I’m driving this crazy thing.  I was killing time between To Do List items by checking out Facebook.  Since this ends in deep regret half the time, perhaps I should stop.  Buuuttt I digress…

I courtesy-clicked on a friend’s post.  She is the type of friend whose soul, spirit, and humor I love like no other.  But her politics…?  Not so much.  I usually take a hard pass on about a third of her posts for this reason.  However, this time she posted this article about a Black Trump supporter named Bernell Trammell.  Trammell was a kind eccentric who was known around Milwaukee for his integrity and support of Donald Trump, which makes him a unicorn.  Anyhoo, Trammell was killed outside of his own store.  Nothing I’ve read so far has indicated a clear motive, but it did make me wonder if Trammell was killed for supporting Trump. 

Then I got a little sick to my stomach.  If Trammell was killed either for his political beliefs or not properly representing his community, it made me wonder:

  • How the killer justified their actions.
  • If there were any “lefties” who read this article and actually believed Trammell deserved to die.
  • Why my side isn’t as pissed about Trammell’s death as they are about the deaths of those who don’t support Trump or identify as politically neutral. 

There’s this GoFundMe page to help Bernell Tramell’s family, but I haven’t heard much else.  Why?  More importantly, what do you even do when “your side” does something shitty?  How do you react when you get called out and you’re in the wrong? There’s your thought for the week.

When you’re done with thinking, you need to watch Seattle Chef Joe’s Facebook Videos.  Please check out his FB page here.  

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 8/4/20 – 8/10/20 and I got:  The Emperor (number 4, “daddy issues,” problems with authority, control issues, the need for self-discipline, a time to get organized, and a warning not to become too rigid); Queen of Pentacles (earth sign female, someone who enjoys comfort and the finer things, someone who works hard to keep up appearances, detail-oriented, someone who is too selfish or ambitious, and needing comfort); Princess of Pentacles (earth sign female, the need to make a plan real, financial or home improvements, new course of study, apprenticeship, and the need to ground oneself); and Seven of Wands (number 7, having to defend oneself in the same argument, reaping a harvest, reaping what one sows, making a stand when challenged, and successfully dealing with obstacles).  The Emperor and the Seven of Wands tell me this is going to be one of those weeks where it is going to be hard to slog through the daily grind.  These two cards strongly suggest being bored or burned out by having to deal with monotony or the same old argument.  This is definitely not the time to snap on someone, no matter how deserving the mutha fucker might be.  The Emperor suggests the way through is to maintain your routines and not cut corners.  The Seven of Wands tells me you have the words and guts to state your case.  It’s only mental exhaustion and self-doubt that could sabotage you.  The Queen of Pentacles tells me this is one of those weeks where you need to fake your way through, snap into Professional Mode, put your game face on, or however you want to describe it.  The Princess of Pentacles tells me this is a good week to set your intention every morning or evening.  I feel like the Princess represents not only your main goal, but also a reminder that you will have more energy to put towards it if you remain grounded.  This energetic aspect is also supported by the presence of the Seven of Wands, which is a “second wind” kind of card.  Keeping yourself grounded will make sure you have enough energy to make it all work.  The Queen next to the Emperor gives me a traditional, one-step-at-a-time vibe.  It feels like these cards are a reminder that your best course of action this week is to remain focused on your goal, do what you know is right, and stick to the basics.  The numerical range implied by this spread tells me it might be best to pick 4-7 small steps you can take towards your goals each day and stick to those.  Just don’t get too rigid or invested in your public image.

For those of you who may need a little more this week, I asked the Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot Deck for the mantra for a week.  The definition of mantra for my nefarious purposes is: a present-tense statement that you can repeat to yourself during times of anxiety, sadness, or uncertainty.  It’s not an affirmation because the phrasing is more pragmatic and neutral, than overtly positive.  Here’s what I got:

The Card:  The Magician

Meaning:  Number 1, the ability to manifest, Archangel Raziel, being ready for what’s next, having the resources to reach one’s goals, life is magical, time to stop procrastinating, concentrated effort, and making the most of opportunities.

Mantras:  I take daily steps to reach my goals.

  • I write down the steps I need to take in order to reach my goals.
  • I find the resources I need to achieve my goals.
  • I support others as they achieve their goals.
  • I take feedback in stride.
  • I accept the support offered to me.
  • I recognize and appreciate the opportunities that come my way.

 

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me.  (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.)  I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

 

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.  

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 a few months ago!!  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 at some point this month, 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 going live on Amazon any day now.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

 

The Notorious HRC: Marshall Delaware and Spicevicious Take on What’s Next for Hillary Clinton

*With Super Special Guest Marshall Delaware

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.

ANOTHER 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.

 

She threatens the ego of Donald J. Trump.  She ran for President of the United States in 2008 and 2016 and got way farther than any other female candidate.  She has been a New York state Senator (2001 – 2009).  She has been the United States Secretary of State during the Obama Administration.  She is a successful author.  She spearheaded the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and started the dialogue about universal healthcare in Congress when she was the First Lady.  

You know her.  You probably have strong feelings about her.  She is the one, the only Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.

My feelings about her have been in the mixed/neutral-to-positive category.  On a personal level, I admire many things about her.  She came along at a time in my life when I was acutely aware that I could either express my true opinions or have a prom date.  (My true opinions have cost me many dates and “supportive” female friendships, btw.)  If the average cis girl of slightly above average intelligence had to choose between being liked and being heard, then everything Hillary accomplished took balls of brass.  And I was choked up when she told her MLK story.  This former Goldwater girl managed to evolve politically, so maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.  However, sometimes I think HRC may have sacrificed too much in the name of greed and notoriety.  

In 2016, I had a funny feeling HIllary was done with politics.  I also wondered what was next for her, so I asked my good buddy Marshall FUCKING Delaware what he thought.  He’s a guy who likes a powerful female (read his Augusta series, please).  Therefore, this column was born.

But first, let’s take a look at why Hillary Clinton elicits such polarizing feelings from the public.

Hillary: Antihero or Villain?

Here’s a little background music for this section:

I’ve always had a soft spot for Hillary, probably because she has managed to do a few things I always wished I could.  She has always seemed more concerned with getting the job done than pandering to someone’s Betty Crocker fantasies.  She knows when to draw the line and seems to take all the haterade in stride.  If she were a dude, she’d be like Bruce Wayne or LBJ—the tough-but-fair asshole with whom you don’t want to trifle.  But I understand that not everyone feels that way and I should probably add that I don’t always agree with her policies or actions.    

After what feels like ten lifetimes of listening to those who don’t agree with me, here’s what I can extrapolate from their impassioned monologues:

Hillary isn’t the most likeable or cuddly public figure.  Word on the street is Hillary’s lack of emotional connection with the public cost her in 2008 and didn’t do her many favors in 2016.  However, she won the 2016 popular vote by over 2%.  This lack of likeability may also be at least part of the reason she received as much criticism as Bill did for his infidelity.  (The other part of the reason is she sided with Bill instead of the women, but how many wives are going to feel sorry for the mistress?)

Hillary’s accomplishments may be overshadowed by what we expect women to be.  Reread the first paragraph under the disclaimers, but replace the feminine pronouns with male pronouns or a random male name.  Does this change the way you feel about the subject?  If so, you have partially illustrated my point.  I was born after the Sexual Revolution.  Gloria Steinem was already on the scene when women everywhere were being told they could bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan.  So you mean I can work just as hard as a man, but then come home and take care of the household chores as well?  Kind of a raw deal, but okay…  Female leaders, executives, and power players deal with a similar “be the perfect woman AND perfect leader, but don’t be too authoritative” dichotomy.  Don’t cry for them too hard, though.  They tend to have more nannies, housekeepers, and help at their disposal.

Hillary doesn’t seem to truly understand the Regular Girl’s (™) lack of privilege.  HRC’s 2016 basket of deplorables comment reignited the old criticism that she may not completely comprehend what it means to be part of the shrinking American middle class.  Many “normal” women everywhere took a look at this and gulped.  Hillary was supposed to be the candidate to get us on a truly level playing field, but how is she supposed to do that if she doesn’t understand the players she champions?  It seems anything else she said on the matter just dug the hole deeper.

Then there’s the elephant in the room…  Ohhhh, the scandals!  I’m covering the major scandals in the next section, but they are the cherry atop the hate sundae for most people.  I don’t always see the point in asking these questions out loud, but I wonder a few things when I hear someone go on and on about how crooked Hillary is:

  • Would you hold a male politician to the same standard?
  • Did you research this before speaking?
  • Are you quicker to forgive a man for the same transgressions?
  • Are you quicker to forgive a “more likeable” female for fucking up?
  • How did you feel when Sarah Sanders felt “relentlessly attacked” by women?  How much did your political views influence your feelings?
  • What standard do you hold the people in your life to?
  • Do you examine your own biases before forming such a strong opinion?
  • Why is she so far under your skin?
  • Wow, do you examine your own faults this deeply?
  • Do you have similar issues with the crooked men in the public eye?

It seems Hillary will always be defined by her ethical missteps, rather than anything she has done well.  A certain portion of the criticism is probably deserved.  Hillary could have gone into a less public field.  She could have chosen at any point to not dabble so far into the ethical gray area.  No one ever said politics was fair, kid.  But should she be defined by the ubiquitous scandals?  Is the venom she receives equal to her actual mistakes?  You should probably take a look at the scandals—and ask yourself the previous questions—before you decide.

Hillary, the Scandal Magnet

It seems our girl Hillz has been flypaper for scandal since she got her law degree from Yale in 1973.  Let’s examine the major ones, shall we…?

Kathy Shelton, 1975:  As a young public defender, Hillary Rodham was directed to defend a man accused of raping then-adolescent Kathy Shelton.  Trump invited Kathy Shelton on the campaign trail with him in October of 2016, in an attempt to besmirch HRC’s feminist street cred.  Kathy Shelton felt that Hillary was mocking her trauma and laughing at her. However, other sources close to Shelton’s case reported Hillary tried to get recused from the case and may have been mocking the veracity of her client’s—the accused rapist’s—polygraph. 

Whitewater, 1978 – 1998:  This 20-year debacle would make a great Netflix series, but methinks Netflix may not want their ass handed to them.  There is a much-questioned suicide, as well as a whole lot of twists, turns, intrigue, and trigger happy lawyers in this one, but this Washington Post break down explains it in manageable chunks.  Here’s what I know:  

  • It started with a $203,000 investment in future vacation homes and escalated to the Clintons possibly misappropriating campaign funds by 1985.  
  • The dual relationships between a failing financial institution and the law firm where Hillary works get even more incestuous until said financial institution goes kaput in 1989.  
  • The Justice Department gets wind of the Clintons being “potential beneficiaries” of the nefarious deeds by 1992, but they can’t really prove much.  The Clintons then oust White House employees to make room for friends, which prompts an FBI investigation.  
  • Then we have Vince Foster filing three years of delinquent Whitewater tax returns a month before he commits suicide.  We then have government agencies possibly giving the Clintons information they shouldn’t, a shitload of subpoenas, and exhumed records.  It’s beginning to look like a white collar archaeological dig up in here.  
  • On 1/3/95, the Dems on the Senate Banking Committee are like, “Broken laws?  What broken laws?”  The Republican Chair of the House Banking Committee comes to the same conclusion on 8/10/95.  
  • More subpoenas, probes, and investigations ensue until Miss Thang testifies before a grand jury in 1996.  The Arkansas cast of characters—including the McDougals, David Hale, and the Governor of Arkansas at the time—are tried around this time as well.  Meanwhile, the ACLU gets involved, the Clintons somewhat admit to bending the rules of investigations, and everyone gets a little distracted by Monica Lewinsky’s dress.  
  • After a $30 million investigation and a couple deaths, it’s determined that the evidence is insufficient to push it further and the matter is dropped.

Walmart Board of Directors, 1986 – 1992:  This one isn’t so much a scandal as a murky potential conflict of interest.  Hillary was the first female on the Walmart Board of Directors.  During that time, she appears to have remained silent on things like Walmart’s anti-union stance and overall shitty working conditions.  You know, things the Democrats—her party of choice—tend to hate about Walmart.

Bill’s Misdeeds, (???):  I can’t comment on the Clintons’ marriage, so I couldn’t tell you if Bill’s indiscretions were against the rules of their marriage.  Maybe she felt that infidelity was something she’d have to cope with in the name of having a partner who respected her intellect and ambition.  Or maybe she stayed with him because a divorce would’ve been worse.  I have no idea what sort of agreement they have regarding infidelity, what Hillary knew, or when.  Hillary is a human being and probably felt humiliated, hurt, angry, and insecure about how it all played out.  The problem here is Hillary may have tried to intimidate at least two of Bill’s mistresses, Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick.  Like I said in the previous section, how many wives do you know that would tap into their inner saint and see the mistress as a victim?  Intimidating people is always a bad look, especially when society sees you as a feminist antihero.  However, how many wives do you know that would let these little indiscretions slide?  

Possible ties to Jeffrey Epstein, 1992 – 2016:  Convicted sex offender and dead sleazebag Jeffrey Epstein often assuaged his bad karma by donating large sums of money to Democratic candidates.  This included Bill Clinton’s initial presidential bid in 1992 and Hillary’s Senate campaign in 1999.  By 2002, the Clintons started their nonprofit, the Clinton Foundation, and were schmoozing with the financial elite to fund this venture.  The financial elite of 2002 unfortunately included Jeffrey Epstein.  Everyone has that “buddy” who they know is up to no good, but intentionally remain ignorant as to the details.  There’s really no way to prove whether Epstein was that type of acquaintance or if the Clintons got a full whiff of the dirty laundry, as Politifact and Snopes discredited some popular Internet conspiracies involving Epstein and the Clintons.

Benghazi, 2012.  During HIllary’s time as Secretary of State, two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya were attacked by an Islamic militant group.  These attacks killed two people and injured ten.  Despite ten investigations into the matter—six of which were Republican-led—there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary, Obama, or Susan Rice.  Vox breaks it down quite well in this post.  You can check out the investigation timeline right here.  Regardless of what she may have known or what was out of her control regarding the attacks, Hillary took accountability and the heat for it.  But the court of public opinion appeared to have been swayed by the 2015 trial and the 2016 election season.

As I said before, this is the list of major scandals.  There have been a few others along the way, but you can research those at your leisure.  Just apply some critical thinking and fact check the fuck out of them, okay?  Fact check the fuck out of yourself too.

So what’s next for the Notorious HRC?  In order to answer that…

Requiem for a Heavyweight-Hillary Rodham Clinton- From Making History to Becoming History. Marshall Delaware Looks at What Fate Has in Store for the Almost First Female President of the United States.

Okay, let’s get the most important thing out of the way first. It looks like I was wrong about Michelle Obama going for the nomination. Maybe, hopefully I was wrong about the timing and not the outcome. In Presidential terms she is young and healthy. She has a lot of time to change her mind and make history. Maybe her and Barack feel like they owe Joe a solid after his eight years of loyal service to them. There’s a lot of maybes here on the table. All I’m going to say is that I was wrong for this election cycle. Joe’s going to win, and when he does things are going to settle down again in an accelerated fashion. Michelle can do eight years standing on her head and then change her mind. I still see her going back to the White House when she feels ready to lead the country.

Ok, enough of that. That isn’t why you’re here.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

What are the Democrats to do with her? Let’s break out the cards and see where she stands.

3 of Swords

Page of Pentacles

4 of Wands (Reversed)

Knight of Swords (Reversed)

7 of Cups (Reversed)

In a word, she’s done.

The first card deals with disaster and for Hillary that disaster was two-fold. She thought that she had the pull to take on a malignant narcissist who wasn’t intimidated by her. The soon-to-be-unemployed POTUS proved that he could out-nasty her in debates. (Remember his “Crooked Hillary” jabs. He was demanding that she be locked up for corruption-related charges.) He wasn’t afraid to fight dirty against her and she made the hubristic mistake of underestimating his willingness to make her look like she was just another career politician who would say and do whatever she had to say and do in order to lock up the top job and make history for herself. In other words, he accused her of operating from a place of self-aggrandizement as opposed to actually wanting to make America a better place. Yeah, I know, the irony writes itself at that point.

Unfortunately for her, Satan favoured her opponent when the DNC-Email Scandal came to light in the summer of 2016. When it was revealed just how covertly she and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz screwed Bernie Sanders out of having a fair chance at the Democratic nomination, that alienated the left-leaning Democrats who chose not to vote for her when she got the nomination. The loss of those lefties made the difference in what has to be one of the tightest votes in American history. It wasn’t the Russians that killed her chances at making history. It was her confusing the tv show “House of Cards” with real life, and thinking she could scam Bernie while trying to openly discredit the most openly shameless creature to ever cheapen what used to be one of the most sacred positions in the world.

The other four cards indicate that she’s exhausted both physically and emotionally. She’s well into her 70’s now and she doesn’t look as perky as Joe Biden does. He’s been champing at the bit for quite a while to make his mark and it looks as though those lefties trust him a lot more than they trust her. Her health is questionable and the rigours of campaigning, as onerous as they are, are nothing compared to the rigours of actually doing the job.

HRC is going to have to live with the fact that she’s yesterday’s feminist-political rock star. She fought hard in 2016 but she got caught and her credibility was put on trial. She was found to be wanting and there are plenty of Democrats who lack faith in her. There are now other women in the Democratic camp who are much more trustworthy and they’re in better shape for when they decide to call their shot. Joe Biden is just there for now to do only one thing and that’s to beat the current POTUS. Once that guy is dragged out of the White House this coming January by the Marines, then those other feminists can begin the process of elevating their own relevance. I’m still betting on Michelle Obama.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about HRC and where she stands now. I have a bonus article coming out that I hope will give you something to think about because this one is kind of personal to me. As always, this is Marshall Delaware saying do the best that you can to be the best that you can. 

Seeya soon.

Spice Asks, “Which Way will You Go, Hillary?  Which Way will You Go?”

I asked the cards if Hillary plans to run for office again and I got:  Seven of Pentacles (number 7, patience, waiting for a project to bear fruit, reaping rewards for hard work, and confidence that things will work out); Princess of Pentacles (earth sign female, hopeful young person, the need to bring an idea to life, new study or apprenticeship, financial improvements, a steadfast and loyal person, and one’s inner child feeling grounded); Knight of Cups (water sign male, sensitive and “emo” person, someone who is easily hurt, someone who lacks follow through, romanticized relationship that fizzles out, being lost in unreal schemes, creativity, and indecision); and Six of Cups (number 6, nostalgia, childhood memories, renewing old relationships, reconnecting with one’s past, and emotional wounds rooted in the past).  The short answer is thanks for the memories, but no.  I feel like the first two cards—the Seven of Pentacles and Princess of Pentacles—tell me her time in politics was fulfilling her younger self’s dream.  The Seven tells me Hillary feels although it is disappointing she didn’t accomplish everything she wanted, she is okay with having at least put a plan into motion.  I also feel like the Seven next to the Princess means she may happily take an advisor role.  Expect her to show up as a pundit on television and write a couple more I told you so books.  She may take a guest teaching spot at an Ivy League university.  The Knight of Cups and Six of Cups show me a couple things.  First, although she would ultimately refuse to run again, she is willing to consider offers.  It feels like she sees at least being considered as validation.  Hey, even tough chicks have moments of insecurity.  Second, the mix of flighty romanticism seen in the Knight and the nostalgia denoted by the Six tell me she’s doing a bit of a life review right now.  That’s the mark of someone who is convinced they’re done with a phase in their lives.  The Knight and Six of Cups in this spread feel bittersweet to me, like she’s reviewing her mistakes as well as her triumph.  I feel like there will be one raw, painfully honest book from her in the next five years.  There will be a few books, but this one will surprise everyone with its uncharacteristic candor.  Hillary is not the type of person to spill her guts if she wants to run for office.  The candor won’t be completely classless and embarrassing, though, because I feel like she wants to present herself as more of a mentor than a cautionary tale.

I asked the cards if there are any legal issues in the next year for Hillary and I got:  Six of Swords (number 6, healing from an illness, moving past a difficult situation, possibly a vacation or travel, moving towards a more peaceful phase of life, lower stress levels, and a major improvement in the quality of one’s life); Seven of Pentacles (number 7, patience, waiting for a project to bear fruit, reaping rewards  for hard work, and confidence that things will work out); Six of Cups (number 6, nostalgia, childhood memories, renewing old relationships, reconnecting with one’s past, and emotional wounds rooted in the past); and Seven of Wands (number 7, making a stand when challenged, knowing one’s rights, not letting others take advantage of one, and more than enough energy to take up a challenge).  Huh.  We have a couple running themes between this spread and the first one.  First, the numbers six and seven figure prominently in both.  I feel like this is speaking to the pivotal moment when Hillary decides to write the emotionally honest book.  I feel like the six and seven speak to the time frame, like this event will start or reach its peak in six or seven months.  This also tells me said pivotal moment will most likely be legal in nature.  The overall vibe of the legal issue is a giant eye roll, which tells me it might be either baseless or a stunt to take the heat off someone else.  I feel like the issue or case itself will be over quickly, but the stench will linger like the aftereffects of eating bad potato salad.  The Six of Swords tells me the silver lining here is this bullshit issue will bring a great deal of healing for Hillary.  The Sixes (Cups and Swords) tell me the scandal comes at a time when Hillary is already thinking about walking away from certain, umm, associates.  This spread ends with the Seven of Wands, which feels like Hillary finally getting to say something she has been wanting to say for at least 15 years.  It won’t be nice and the target of her discourse will be left with a few exit wounds from this epic fuck you.  This will probably be the last major legal battle of her career.

I asked the cards what we need to know about the next year of Hillary’s life and I got:  Queen of Pentacles (earth sign female, someone who enjoys the finer things, someone interested in status and keeping up appearances, someone who can be selfish, and someone who finds fault with others); Eight of Wands (number 8, messages (text and email), things happening quickly, travel, plans taking shape, and having to make a quick U-turn); Knight of Cups (water sign male, sensitive and “emo” person, someone who is easily hurt, someone who lacks follow through, romanticized relationship that fizzles out, being lost in unreal schemes, creativity, and indecision); and the Moon (number 18, secrets, intuition, moodiness, a time to go inward, issues from the past resurfacing, the need to explore one’s triggers, “mommy issues,” and the need to spend some time alone).  I feel like this spread carries through prior themes of reviewing one’s life, putting relationships into perspective, starting a new chapter, and taking things as they come.  The Queen of Pentacles represents Hillary here because this Queen is all about keeping up appearances, which often means making uncomfortable sacrifices in the name of managing your brand.  I feel like this has always secretly been a bone of contention for Hillary.  Her grand plan with Bill was simultaneously a guiding force and restrictive emotional corset for her, sayeth the cards.  Now she no longer has to wear a social girdle, so to speak.  This spread tells me Hillary is wondering, Now what?  The Knight of Cups continues to show up in these spreads.  I feel like the Knight either signifies Bill or what she thought they were building together.  The emo nature of the Knight followed by the moodiness of the Moon makes me feel like she may see this phase of her life as one to finally process her marriage and self-image.  I feel like the Eight of Wands refers not only to the opportunities coming Hillary’s way, but also the feedback and obstacles she will face this year.  The legal thing feels like a total farce and she’ll take it in stride, but it will force her to look at her patterns, scandals, and relationships.  Anything we see from Hillary will happen at least eight months from now.  These cards are saying Hillary needs a little hibernation to reflect and regroup before we see her next venture.  

For those of you who are dissatisfied with the current state of things, stop bitching on social media and try…

Spice’s Practical Advice for the Politically Dissatisfied

If you really want to carry this surge of energy into the election, perhaps you should think about getting more involved yourself.  Vogue proposed these handy suggestions.  Here’s my list:

  1.  Emailing your congressman is simple.  You can find a good guide on how to do it here.  Open Media Foundation has put together this handy guide to finding your legislators, contacting them, and researching how they voted.  Not to be outdone, the U.S. government created this contact guide.
  2. You can also register to vote here.
  3. Also, I strongly suggest running all candidates’ claims and data through a fact checker.  NPR, Politifact, and FactCheck.org are reliable.  I think this would go a long way to getting the right candidate, since the 2016 election was punctuated by too much emotional, self-righteous apple pie bullshit and too little logic.  Seriously, perhaps it’s time to focus less on ranting and more on actually doing things.

 

A quick update on my readings:  I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients.  Ummm, no.  I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now.  That’s fair.  Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me pageSo I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:

Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:

  • Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
  • Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
  • Send me one question.  I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.

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.  

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia?  Arm the Animals is 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?  He’s coming back later, 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 gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four will hit Amazon soon, so stay tuned.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!