Tarot Reading of the Week: 6/9/21 – 6/16/21 and 6/16/21 – 6/23/21

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

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

NOTE:  I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt.  It’s not you, it’s me.  In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books.  You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them.  Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance.  I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading.  I apologize.

In current events this week:

  • The remains of 215 indigenous children were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School in Canada.  What happened to these kids was horrific and showed the sort of racism Native Americans endured in the States and Canada.  You can read about it here.  YouTuber and psychic medium Sloan Bella offers an unpopular opinion and spiritual perspective on this right here.  Although you can read Reuters debunk the picnic story here, William Coombes was a real person that you can read about what he endured at Kamloops here.  I don’t know about you, but I feel this makes the detained migrant children situation seem both a little familiar and more suspicious at the same time.
  • Ever wonder where Jeffrey Epstein got all his money?  This article details his parasitic relationship with the founder of The Limited.  It also talks about how he bullied a fellow financial advisor out of the business.
  • Speaking of predatory financiers and sleazy people, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law, stating they can go after your home’s equity if you get behind on your debts.  That opens up a rather 19th Century can of worms.  You can read about it right here.
  • I’m going to have to post an astrology video because there’s a definite money and exposure theme happening.  If you want more proof, check out this article on the Biden administration’s investigation into someone illegally leaking the tax info of the super rich.
  • Human Rights Watch posted this handy timeline of the Israel-Palestine conflict.  You may want to read it because I feel the whole world is about to get tested on this later.
  • Meanwhile, in India, this missing person’s case has been solved after a decade.
  • In a very Captain Obvious study, researchers have found that people with dark triad behaviors and personality traits are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors (i.e. bullying, belittling, stalking, etc.) online.  Read more about dark trollism here.  In slightly less Captain Obvious news, people who have strong leanings towards the dark triad and antisocial personality disorder are more apt to try mind upload technology.  Read all about it here.
  • Does anyone else wonder what possessed Bill Gates to buy up the farmland to grow potatoes for MacDonald’s fries?  It’s kind of genius if you think about it, but this is the same guy who is working with Harvard to throw dust at the sun to combat climate change.   You can form conspiracy theories after reading the article here.
  • Speaking of conspiracies, the hacker group Anonymous may have launched a series of attacks on Elon Musk and Tesla.  Experts believe the oil industry is also behind this.  You can check it out here.
  • On a more depressing note, American women now drink as much as American men.  It’s not some girl power, equality thing.  Young women are hitting the bottle to cope with increasing stress, most recently from the pandemic.  Please look at the sobering stats in this article.
  • Post-pandemic prices are on the rise, mostly due to supply chain issues.  Demand is outpacing supply.  Now might be the time to take up urban farming.  Read all about it here.
  • In freaky science news, scientists have made further advancements in hacking your genes.  They did this via creating a superbug.  The ethics are a little murky and it makes me think of an episode of Tales From the Dark Side where that family paid for a genetically perfect baby.  You can scare yourself silly here.

After you’ve caught up on the news, why not check out my salty tarot podcast?  I use the tarot cards as inspiration for guided meditations.  The goal is to help you do things like unhook from negative people, calm down, get some clarity, and increase your intuition.  Here’s the latest:

https://anchor.fm/amy-muscarello/embed/episodes/Podcast-6-42621-Death-13-Endings-and-Rebirth-e10dequ

In case you need it, check out this info sheet on COVID-19 financial relief grants for those in need.  

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 6/9/21 – 6/16/21 and I got:  Five of Cups (number 5, grief, loss, sadness, the need to let go of an old emotional issue, losing something to gain something greater, and focus on what is left); the Moon (number 18, moodiness, flashes of awareness, mood swings, imagination, prophetic dreams, the need to go inward, “mommy issues,” and the need for self-reflection); the Tower (number 16, chaos, a destructive event that brings liberation, being served a reality check, sudden changes, issues coming to a head, and a breakdown); and Princess of Cups (young water sign female, psychic awareness, an imaginative person, possibly one’s inner child, daydreams, and creativity that needs to be acknowledged).  I posted this late and there’s no excuse, but if I had to guess, I’d say that last week was pretty fucking emo for you.  As per usual, there are a couple running themes.  The middle of this tarot sammich is a couple of Major Arcana cards.  If we’re running with the food theme, these cards would be that particular cheese that just sits in your lactose intolerant intestines like a half-digested brick.  Too crude?  Let’s see what you think after I ‘splain.  Our first Major Arcana intestinal chunk is the Moon, which is a card of the moody water sign Cancer.  Like that overly sensitive crab we all seem to know, the Moon is a card of feeling too much and retreating a little.  Also like a true Cancer, the Moon is a rather empathic card.  You can expect to catch wind of others’ feelings as if they’re your own.  You might have strong feelings—usually sadness or anxiety—from nowhere.  You may even get a cosmic warning about some bullshit before it happens, which brings me to our next Major Arcana card.  The Tower is the ultimate chaos card in the deck.  This card represents upheaval, ruin, devastation.  You know, that royally fucked up event that shakes you to your core.  The Tower is the only card in the Major Arcana that represents all twelve zodiac signs, symbolizing how none of us get a pass when chaos comes to call.  When the Tower strolls into your reading, you know every elephant in the room or situation you’re trying to ignore is going to bite you on the ass.  However, like the Hindu goddess Kali, the Tower’s destruction ultimately brings liberation and the chance at something better.  These two cards sitting together tell me not only was the big shake up in your life supposed to happen, but it was probably the only way you would look at that aspect of your life that makes you feel like hot garbage.  The bread of this week’s tarot sammich are two more watery cards—the Five of Cups and the Princess of Cups.  The Five of Cups signifies grief, sadness, and having to let part of your life go.  Sitting right next to the Moon, the Five tells me you may have felt something was a little off for a while.  If the stank vibe in your life has to do with a relationship—romantic or otherwise—things haven’t flowed too well lately or you learned something about the other person that got under your skin.  My guess is this is a relationship blemish that you have tried to cover with a gallon of concealer, rather than popped it or put some nightly witch hazel on it.  As we learned from the Tower, this denial definitely cost you.  The Princess of Cups echoes the psychic energy of the Moon, as this is a card of someone who is just wiping the crust out of their third eye.  Along with the Five, these cards feel things deeply.  These three cards also feel very inward in nature this week, quite like an animal who slinks to the corner to lick their wounds.  If we combine this energy with that of the Tower, we have a week where we can’t take anything for granted.  I hope you paid attention to your intuition this week because however you chose to deal with the chaos this week will impact your life for the next five to 18 months.  Also, I sincerely hope you pay attention to this final lesson from the Five of Cups: the way through this obstacle is to focus on what stays around you, not what was forced out of your life.  This means the people and pets that stick with you, the job you may not have lost, and those parts of your soul that nobody can take from you.

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 6/16/21 – 6/23/21:  Ten of Wands (number 10, martyrdom, carrying too much burden at work or in a relationship, burden not worth having, anxiety, exhaustion, and the need to delegate); Queen of Wands (fire sign female, someone who needs recognition and validation, speaking one’s mind, possibly an overbearing person, a passionate and generous person, possibly narcissism, knowing what one wants from life, and possibly attention-seeking); Six of Wands (number 6, hard-won victory, success, business or career success, and a well-received creative project); and Two of Cups (number 2, relationships based on equality, partnership, meeting others where they’re at, feeling balanced, and new relationships).  Remember how last week was all watery and weepy, with a hint of chaos?  This week feels like you suddenly feel motivated to yell “fuuuuuccckkk that” and drop your end of the tug-of-war rope.  Wands are super fast fire energy, so this opting out of the game is likely to happen quickly.  The first two cards—the Ten and Queen of Wands—support this.  The Ten of Wands is a card of carrying too much responsibility and burden, while the Queen of Wands wants to be recognized for her work.  These two cards together tell me this may be the week of your ah-ha moment.  This may be the week that you finally get sick of all the work, with none of the credit.  Acknowledge your feelings, but don’t be a dick about it.  If anything tells me that you need to be graceful, it’s the final two cards—the Six of Wands and the Two of Cups.  The Six of Wands tells of a victory that you truly earned.  Next to the Queen, the Six tells me that having a history of hard work will give you the ultimate clout this week.  Those around you will be forced to scratch their heads and admit you have a point, even if they never say it to your face.  Keep your receipts in case you get questioned on your Ah-ha/Fuuuuccckkk That Moment (™), as the Two of Cups tells me you will ultimately be understood.  The Two of Cups tells me this might also be the week where you figure out that any power imbalances in your non-family relationships are based on your anxiety.  NOTE: This has NOTHING to do with abusive situations.  The best course of action is to hold your boundaries, but don’t be an abusive ass hat about it.  Don’t get insulting.  Keep it classy and stick to the facts.  I feel like this issue is more likely to be in the realm of career or platonic friendships, rather than family or romance.  

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

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

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

Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue.  They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not buy a shirt that gives back?  Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need.  I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.

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

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

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

Tarot Reading of the Week: 6/2/21 – 6/8/21

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

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

NOTE:  I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt.  It’s not you, it’s me.  In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books.  You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them.  Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance.  I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading.  I apologize.

In planetary news:

  • We’re preparing for a major solar eclipse on June 10th.  You can read a more detailed breakdown in this article, but the gist is you may be prone to a little lethargy and relationships may not be what they seem.  Expect the need to conserve your energy.
  • Thankfully this upcoming eclipse and current retrograde will be balanced out by Venus trining Jupiter.  This energy is great for creativity, the helping professions, and fostering positive connections.  If you’ve been thinking that you should write that novel, paint that masterpiece, redecorate your house, visit grandma, or reach out to someone who’s struggling, this would be a good week.  Just avoid overthinking things, as logic won’t be your strong suit.

Here’s a more thorough look:

Now let’s take a look at some current events:

  • Eddy is a survivor of the Kuper Island Residential School.  KIRS was one of the many boarding schools Native American children were forced to attend.  Eddy’s story illustrates how doing so damn near tore some Native American communities apart.  You can read his firsthand account right here.
  • Meanwhile, Judge Amy Berman Jackson is having none of Trump’s nonsense.  Not only has she told Paul Manafort and Roger Stone to cut the crap, but she expertly breaks down the role of the Trump Administration in the role of the January 6th riots right here.
  • Speaking of the Capitol riots, the defendants’ own lawyers are calling QAnon Shaman and Co. “fucking short bus people.”  Yeah…  Don’t insult special needs people by using that term or comparing them to the rioters.  The poor attorneys tasked with the job of defending the 100+ suspects are using a defense that basically says “but they were in a Far Right echo chamber, fueled by Trump’s grandiose delusions.”  Those poor babies were too stupid to know better, is what I’m hearing in that article.  Anyhoo, my prediction is that the next four years are basically going to be a Post-Trump Apology Tour (™) for many who voted for him.
  • I was shocked to learn that Bill Cosby has been less than an ideal prisoner.  I know there are many prison guards and inmates that would get a kick out of antagonizing The Cozz, but still…  Whatever Bill Cosby has been doing has been bad enough to keep him from getting parole.  You can read about that here.
  • The World Meteorological Organization believes there is a 40% chance that Earth will reach its maximum temperature potential by 2025.  Yes, we may burn to a crisp in our lifetime.  You can read more about that here.
  • The four-legged fossil fish that scientists thought went extinct hundreds of millions of years ago was found alive in the Indian Ocean.  There was one freak sighting of this fish in 1938, but nothing since.  It’s a big sucker too.  You can check it out here.
  • Experts warn that the U.S. economy could end up a little fucked if the Fed makes one wrong move in the coming months.  Great.  You can read more about why and how Biden/Harris needs to tread lightly this year right here.
  • A grand jury is deciding whether to pursue charges against Trump.  My bet is charges will be pursued, but I don’t see anything beyond house arrest for Emperor Orange Julius.  You can check that out here.

After you’ve caught up on the news, why not check out my salty tarot podcast?  I use the tarot cards as inspiration for guided meditations.  The goal is to help you do things like unhook from negative people, calm down, get some clarity, and increase your intuition.  Here’s the latest:

https://anchor.fm/amy-muscarello/embed/episodes/Podcast-8-5621-10-of-Cups-Happiness-and-Fulfillment-e11r7cc

In case you need it, check out this info sheet on COVID-19 financial relief grants for those in need.  

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 6/2/21 – 6/8/21 and I got:  Knight of Swords (air sign male, an intelligent conversationalist, someone who appears and disappears out of one’s life suddenly, conviction, putting one’s money where one’s mouth is, impatience, restlessness, moving forward with plans, and possibly hasty words); Death (number 13, transformation, rebirth, the end of a cycle, the need to let go of old attachments, the need to part with aspects of one’s life that are toxic or no longer serving one, and the need to accept an inevitable change); King of Pentacles (earth sign male, generous and financially stable person, someone who has earned respect, one who approaches life cautiously, the need to be more cautious with one’s money, someone who enjoys what they have, and a reliable person); and Three of Swords (number 3, sorrow, grief, emotional and psychological wounds that need to be healed with time, the need to allow oneself to grieve, possibly emotional cleansing, and the release of painful memories).  The energy surrounding this week is kinda depressing.  It feels like a giant rubber band ball of sadness, to be honest with you.  There are a few themes in this spread that can help us navigate, though.  The first thing that jumps out is how the majority of these cards—three out of four—are important cards.  We have two court cards with the Knight of Swords and King of Pentacles…  and then there’s our Major Arcana card—Death.  Our lone Minor Arcana card is the somber Three of Swords.   This tells me any decisions you make this week will have long-lasting implications.  The first of our court cards—the Knight of Swords—is a card of someone moving forward with an idea and/or going on an intellectual quest.  This can look like starting a project that has to do with communication (i.e. writing a book or some activism), as well as finally telling some asshole off or taking steps to make an idea real.  If I had to assign this Knight a stage of change,  I would put him at the midpoint between preparation (figuring out the action steps) and action (taking the action steps).  The King of Pentacles balances out the Knight’s impatience by reminding us that we need to consider the long term before we charge ahead.  Not only does the King have a lot to lose by acting stupid, but he tends to be someone who likes to wait and see how things unfold before he does anything.  Although I’m not normally alarmed by the presence of the Death card, it’s definitely making me sit up straight and clench my butthole in this spread.  Not gonna lie.  Much of this is due to a card associated with irreversible, inevitable change being sandwiched between the proverbial angel (King of Pentacles) and devil (Knight of Swords) on our shoulders.  Death’s association with the number 13—a number strongly associated with collecting karmic debts—gives me pause in this case because it feels like anything we decide to do this week will come back to us, good or bad.  You won’t be acting or reacting in a vacuum, so please consider the possible ripple effects of your actions.  Death also tells us that what’s done can’t be undone, but you can come out of the situation a whole new person.  Along with the sorrow-laden Three of Swords, Death tells us now is a good time to work through and start to let go of old emotional wounds.  I feel like the two Swords—the Knight and the Three—show us that issues related to bullying, verbal abuse, or mental abuse might come back for you to process.  I don’t feel like these issues are related to anything terribly recent.  Instead, I think you could be dealing with some emotional flashbacks and CPTSD-type stuff this week.  I don’t see any cards that come right out and say “YOU WILL BE TRIGGERED”, but old grief and anger might come back up in the form of dreams, random conversations with or about the perps, or having to force yourself to play nice in a hostile environment.  This also feels like that point when you’re working at a toxic job and you just can’t pretend everything’s okay anymore.  Cry, scream, and cajole if you must.  Just take heed of the King’s warning and keep your words and actions constructive.  I feel like Death and the Three are showing us that you can’t fake the funk and that you really did experience some bullshit.  The King and the Knight are urging you to do something practical—or at least constructive—with it.  Gaslighting yourself or stapling rose-colored glasses to your face isn’t going to work anymore.  But don’t expect to rip the bandage off and make your exit just yet.

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

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

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

Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue.  They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not buy a shirt that gives back?  Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need.  I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.

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

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

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

Become a Teachable Moment: Responding to Hate Grenades

Most of you probably know that I’ve written a few things for Psych2Go, both the YouTube channel and blog.  The most recent article and video I published on P2G was this article about how certain behaviors might be ruining your relationships.  You can see an abridged version in video form here:

The advice in this article is pretty basic: 

  • Don’t be rigid or unrealistic in your expectations
  • Focus on yourself as much as you focus on them
  • Don’t be overly selfish
  • Make sure you heal your past relationships so you don’t drag that baggage forward
  • Pay attention to red flags 

None of this is new information.  But apparently it was the height of offense to someone who only identified themselves by how much they love the Jackson 5.  The part they especially took great umbrage to was when I suggested that one should be mindful of how much they let other people influence them.  I guess this person felt attacked by me suggesting that it is somehow unhealthy to lose your identity in a relationship or allow your ex to ruin your current relationships.

This Jackson 5 fan decided to express their displeasure by calling me a “stupid bitch” and “ugly whore.”  They even went so far as to say that my article strongly suggested “you’re somehow to blame if your partner changes you.”  Their point (as best that I could understand it through all the logical fallacies and attempts at being threatening) was that we don’t always know that we’re being influenced by a partner and some people just aren’t “resilient enough to stick to their guns.”  Because I suggested that you need to take accountability for your relationship patterns—which is wildly different than saying you should blame yourself for abuse—I’m going to say that you’re MAKING me do this to you. Ugly whore.”

I’m not posting the message in its entirety because this person is likely:

  • A minor
  • Someone struggling with mental health issues
  • A person who felt so strongly triggered because they recognize themselves in the examples presented.
  • Someone who grew up in an ideology that says you are second to your partner and whatever they want is more important than anything you need.
  • Bitter and frustrated with their life and needing someone to blame
  • To be someone who gets their jollies by taking out their frustrations on strangers
  • To be someone who feels small and invisible in their own lives
  • A survivor of abuse
  • Possibly someone who is a little too #woke and under the impression I’m somehow resilience-shaming people

However, I probably should address this because of how the message was delivered.  Remember how I said this was in reference to my Psych2Go article?  The plot twist here is that this person decided not to leave a comment on the Psych2Go page.  Instead, they went through the trouble of looking up my P2G profile, finding my blog (this one), and sending me a message through the Contact form.  Not a comment.  A message that would go to this blog’s email, rather than leave a comment on the article.

The lack of logic and the way the message was delivered was more eye roll-inducing than anything, but I figured since I was representing P2G, I should probably respond.  I then proceeded to draft the most polite and appropriate response I could and hit Send.

Wouldn’t you know it, but this anonymous Jackson 5 fan put in a fake email address?

Both attempts to send to the address they put on the contact form got bounced back.

I’m going to keep this as brief as possible for a couple reasons.  One, I was never too invested in the incident itself.  This person chose to use more profanity than logic and never completely told me why they were so upset.  I can’t help you if I don’t know what I did.  And, lastly, I don’t even know how much attention this deserves.  The problem is, this situation is something I probably should address because messages similar to the one I received are something for which others are losing careers, platforms, friends, and decent chunks of their social lives.

And for what?  

I didn’t walk away with a favorable impression of this person, or even take them that seriously.  Here’s how I see it:

  • They knew Psych2Go would never let a cyberbully-esque comment such as theirs to be published on their site, which means they knew exactly what they were doing.
  • They took the extra time to look up my profile and find my blog.
  • Instead of leaving a comment, they used the Contact form.
  • They knowingly entered a fake email address so that they couldn’t be found and/or I couldn’t respond.

Like I said, they’re probably a minor and/or struggling with emotional issues.

But does that mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for how they chose to express themselves?

FUCK NO.  

Let me put it this way: David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, shot eight people because he thought he was obeying orders from a demon.  (Berkowitz was convinced this demon was using his neighbor’s dog as a host body.)  He proceeded to taunt police and the press whilst he continued his spree.  This is pretty much the logic the prosecution used to hold him accountable:

  • Was he struggling with mental health issues?  Yes.
  • Did he demonstrate knowledge of his actions by antagonizing the police and newspapers?  Again, yes.
  • Did he kill eight people?  Yes, yes, and yes.

So I decided to make this anonymous Jackson 5 fan into a teachable moment via this post.  Here is the response I wrote that got bounced back:

Hi.

Thank you for your input.  I feel like you have misconstrued the point I was trying to make and you are clearly upset.  I am sorry that something I said upset you.

Let me explain. 

You are correct that we let our guard down a little too much in new relationships, but the good news is this is something you can change.  You’re not doomed, nor are you a bad person if you’ve made any of these mistakes.   It happens.  You just have to own that it happened and figure out how to do things differently.   No big deal.

Here’s another example of how we do have choice regarding our semi conscious patterns.   Say Judy Patootie has a really stressful job or class every day.  There’s a Starbucks on the way home, so she rewards herself for dealing with the stress by getting a mocha and a cake pop most days of the week.  After a while, it becomes second nature and she just automatically assumes she’s getting a mocha and a cake pop after work or school.

Then she gains 40 pounds.

If Judy wants to change this, she is going to have to look at her habits and figure out if this reward (mocha and cake pop) is worth putting on the weight.  There’s no need to beat herself up over it.  She just needs to start by deciding whether she wants to learn how to do things differently.

Same with my article.   If you see a pattern that’s making your relationships miserable, then it’s time to figure out what you want to do about it. 

Applying your logic to Judy’s example, you would say Starbucks was the one forcing the mocha down her throat.   We both know it’s not the case.  Like any successful business, Starbucks is going to make itself as appealing as possible to sell products, but you still have choices. 

It’s the same with relationships.   It can be easier and more appealing to go along with the other person, but only you can decide whether this is hurting you.  (The exceptions are situations involving abuse or if a partner has a history of trauma.  Then the dynamics are different and there’s a more sinister power imbalance there.)

As to your point about resilience,  that can be learned too.  Anyone can become more resilient.   It’s a lot of work, but worth it if this would help you. 

The big keys to learning resilience are to not take everything personally, learn from your mistakes, and be responsible for how you choose to deal with your feelings.  

Which brings me back to your message.   Although I appreciate the feedback and am sorry what I wrote upset you so much, something in there triggered you way beyond the intent of the article.  When you were triggered, you had choices.  You chose to seek me out and unload your frustration.  You chose to use the words you used.  It’s up to you to figure out why.

Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best.

Stop Being an Ingrate #4: Gratitude Spell for May 2021

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.

Those of you who have been paying attention to my weekly tarot posts lately know that I really have to shorten these intros.  It’s not personal and I actually do miss giving you guys some psychology-meets-metaphysics stuff weekly, but I need to devote some serious time to all these unfinished projects *cough* Water Torture *cough* oracle deck *cough*  I was trying to do too much at once and fucking up everything.  Let that be a lesson to you.

Way before I found out about the brutal Mercury retrograde happening May 29th, I decided the theme for this month would be unpleasant people.  Trolls.  Thirty-one flavors of ain’t shit bitches, if you will.  Part of that was because I meant to have this spell done a month ago, but never mind that.  Let’s talk about how the current astro haps are going to rock your world.  We may as well because we’re stuck with the bad juju until June 22nd.

Here’s what you can expect from this week’s Mercury retrograde:

  • You will stick your foot in your mouth.  Think twice and speak once, if you speak at all.
  • Any and all electronic devices will have some creative errors.
  • Delays, delays, and more delays.
  • Drama and misunderstandings.
  • Bank errors and accidental overspending.  Be prepared to keep your receipts, read the fine print, and avoid making big purchases, if you can.
  • Sending and receiving mixed signals.
  • Gossip and drama cropping up from nowhere.  Again, think twice and speak once, if you speak at all.
  • Transportation issues.

You can read more about what part of your life Mercury retrograde will shake aggressively and throw against the wall here.

And if that’s not bad enough, May 26 brings a full blood flower super moon.  Yes, that’s really what it’s called.  This pompously-named moon appears to have earned this grandeur, given the effect it will be having on your life.

Possible effects of the full blood flower super moon lunar eclipse in Sagittarius:

  • Letting your freak flag fly.  You know how emotional you get during every full moon?  Expect—and a slew of bad ideas—times 10.
  • Deep-rooted emotional issues being brought to the surface.
  • Thinking about what truly makes you happy vs. what you thought would make you happy.
  • Rose-colored glasses.  You might feel more optimistic and expansive during this time.
  • Finally getting rid of long-held beliefs that have been holding you back.

For a more in-depth view, check out this video:

The retrograde and full moon give us an opportunity to reflect on what’s not working so that we can change it.  It will also be open season for assholes.

So What Would the Stoics Do?

Believe it or not, Ancient Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius gifted us with a blueprint for dealing with USDA Grade A Asshat Trolls.  He didn’t call it Dealing with USDA Grade A Asshat Trolls for Dummies, but he did include several references to dealing with difficult people in his journals.

Luckily, his eloquence on the subject can be boiled down into these five steps:

  • Keep your expectations realistic.  Think back to the last few times you were disappointed in people.  What did they do?  Chances are, the problem is that they didn’t live up to your expectations.  Some people are completely full of shit.  Still others are going to get off on deceiving you.  And then there are the entitled Karen types who really don’t care who they hurt in the name of getting theirs/being right/their “rights”…  The stoics believe the best way to deal with difficult people is to understand every day above ground is another chance to deal with the asshat of your nightmares.  Knowing this, Marcus Aurelius believed in taking a more pragmatic view and not dignifying negative behavior with an explosive response.  
  • Don’t personalize the piss in someone else’s Cheerios.  What are the things that put you in a bad mood?   Stepping on Legos?  Being on an elevator with a flatulent person who ate garlic?  Getting a letter from the government?  An email from your ex?  None of these things make us particularly pleasant to be near.  The stoics understood that at any given moment, all of us are sharing airspace with others who are really going through it.  One of the tricks to getting through your day without feeling all trigger-happy stabby is to understand that another person’s behavior isn’t all about you. 
  • Remember there’s a human being underneath the other person’s crusty jackass exterior.  This one can be especially hard if the difficult human being is a keyboard warrior or someone who is choosing a similarly cowardly path.  Whiners and entitled people tend to make us forget that we’re dealing with a person as well.  However, Marcus Aurelius would advise you to look underneath the snake-like surface of this asshat and see where they might be struggling.  Remember the old mental health axiom behavior reflects need.
  • Take action.  The stoics believed big, explosive reactions were a bad idea for all considered.  But that doesn’t mean Marcus Aurelias and Seneca were going to put up with your bullshit.  Part of walking the stoic road means dealing with conflict with logic and compassion.  This means drawing boundaries with difficult people that acknowledge they’re human beings with their own baggage, but not letting them unload this baggage onto you.
  • Don’t let envy turn you into a douchebag too.  As fucked up and corrosive as it is, jealousy is a normal human emotion.  The stoics acknowledged this.  They just didn’t let it rule them.  Like all emotions, jealousy is trying to tell us something.  Think about the last time you were jealous of someone or something.  Now think about where that jealousy shone its spotlight.  Maybe you were jealous of someone’s relationship.  Could it be that you were lonely at the time?  Were you craving more attention from this person?  Or maybe you were jealous of someone else’s sweet new job and/or general level up in their lives.  Did this make you think of the money you don’t have?  Or make you think of opportunities that you either didn’t jump on or got passed to someone else?  The stoics would tell you to acknowledge this feeling, figure out what the emotion is trying to say, and fix what you can about your life.
  • Let them be a teachable moment and fuck off.  There’s an upcoming meditation and blog post dedicated to this concept, but I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version now.  Apply what I said about envy to all of your emotions and you pretty much have the mental-health-meets-stoicism answer to dealing with people who trigger you.  Here’s how:
    • Identify the emotion you’re feeling, independent of the person or thing triggering you.  That would be a simple statement of I feel angry or I feel embarrassed.
    • Identify what that emotion is trying to tell you.  Anger is telling us about our boundaries.  Jealousy shows us what we feel we lack.
    • Acknowledge the lesson this emotion is trying to teach you.
    • Figure out what you can change vs. what you have to accept about the situation.
    • Decide on action steps to better yourself and the situation, then move forward.

You can also watch this video here:

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***Before we begin, let me just say dealing with difficult people is different than dealing with abusers. YOU ARE IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ABUSE YOU MAY HAVE SURVIVED. Nobody has the right to degrade or abuse you mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually, financially, verbally, or online. These tips are for the everyday, garden variety asshole you meet by just living life. As they say on Sesame Street, assholes are people in your neighborhood.

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, let’s get on with the spell.  

First, The Usual Ground Rules…

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

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

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

Here are my suggestions:

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

Gratitude Spell for May 2021

What You Need:

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

What You Will Do:

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

Journal Questions #4: Dealing with Difficult People

  1. Define the situation in as few words as you need (i.e. “my boyfriend doesn’t love me for who I am,” “my brother never shares his ice cream,” “my boss treats me unfairly,” etc.):
  1.  Close your eyes and become aware of any feeling (headache, chest pain, pounding heart, Charlie horse, gas, et al) in your body, separate from any thoughts you have about it (don’t attribute the feeling to a cause, i.e. “I have a headache because I’m thinking about my mother.”). 
  2. Feel the power in that feeling and respect it. After you give yourself a moment to do this, what is the first thought you have (e.g. “This is stupid,” “I want waffles,” “Wow,” “This is kinda cool,” et al)?
  3. Feel love for yourself (in an appropriate and G-rated way) related to allowing yourself to have whatever feeling you’re having.  After you give yourself a moment to do this, what is the first thought you have (“My head feels clearer,” “I’m less tense,” “My mom makes good waffles,” etc)?
  4. Do you agree that nothing you or anyone else in this situation has done or is doing is either wrong or right? 
  5. What’s one thing about your actions in this situation that you can comfortably accept? Why?
  6. What’s one thing about your actions in this situation that you cannot comfortably accept? Why?
  7. What’s one thing about other people’s actions in this situation that you can comfortably accept? Why?
  8. What’s one thing about other people’s actions in this situation that you cannot comfortably accept? Why?
  9. How are your positive beliefs about yourself contributing to the situation (i.e. you’re conducting yourself with confidence, you’re treating the other person with respect, you’re staying true to your values, etc)?
  10. How are your negative beliefs about yourself contributing to the situation (e.g. you feel like a screw up, you shut down in the other person’s presence, you’re beating yourself up, you feel the urge to relapse due to the stress, et al)?
  11. How are your positive beliefs about others contributing to the situation (e.g. you’re giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, you’re making some concessions to the other person, you’re considering what the other person has to say, et al)?
  12. How are your negative beliefs about others contributing to the situation (i.e. you’re making assumptions about the other person that aren’t necessarily based on fact, you’re not taking the other person’s point of view into account, etc)?
  1. How are the other person’s positive beliefs about you contributing to the situation (i.e. they’re treating you like an adult, they appear to be listening to you, they’ve expressed a willingness to compromise, etc)?
  2. How are the other person’s negative beliefs about you contributing to the situation (e.g. they interrupt you often, they make generalizations about your character, they’re yelling at you, et al)?
  3. What is something about the other person or people that you recognize about yourself in this situation (i.e. they’re upset, they make generalizations about your character—as you are about theirs’, you’re both not considering each other’s feelings, et al)?
  4. What is a belief about yourself that could be guiding the behavior you listed above (i.e. “Nobody will ever listen to me,” “I’m invisible,” “I suck at this communication stuff, “ “I’m weird—nobody gets me,” et al)?
  5. Perceive the same situation differently. What is another possible interpretation of this situation?
  6. Are you willing to see and feel the perfection of what is, just the way it is (e.g. stop looking for hidden conspiracies or causes behind events)?
  7. Please describe the ways in which you are withholding love from yourself and others in this situation (i.e. the silent treatment, being critical or judgmental, allowing your pride to dictate your communication, et al).
  8. List at least one good thing you can say about yourself in this situation (i.e. you’re patient with difficult people, you managed to articulate your feelings without yelling or crying, you didn’t hit anyone, et al).
  9. List at least one good thing you can say about the other people involved in this situation (i.e. they didn’t hit you, they eventually shut up, they at least validated your feelings, they have cool shoes, etc).
  10. Close your eyes, inhale deeply, and notice any area of your body that feels less tense or painful. Now repeat after me:

(Insert the name of the other person or people involved here), I unconditionally love and accept you just the way you are.”

***repeat as needed until the urge to somehow disrespect yourself by harming them passes***

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

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

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

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in shelters? 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?  Check out our latest political collab.  He’s coming back in the near future, FYI.  If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here.  It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried.  He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three.  Part Four is right here.  And, ehrmagerd, he has just come out with Part Five.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 5/19/21 – 5/26/21

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

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

NOTE:  I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt.  It’s not you, it’s me.  In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books.  You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them.  Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance.  I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading.  I apologize.

Let’s take a look at some current events:

  • The Israel-Hamas conflict shows no sign of stopping.  You can read about that here.  You can also read about President Biden’s call for a cease fire here.
  • Speaking of President Uncle Joe, we’ve all been so distracted by Israel, the stimulus, and getting vaccines that we seem to have forgotten he went around Congress to do an airstrike on Syria.  Yeah…  That’s a problem.  See for yourself over here.  I’d say Congress is pissed.  I’m pretty concerned that this bypassing of Congress is becoming a pattern.
  • It appears that the election recount in Arizona is exposing some real flaws in the alleged evidence that the election was stolen.  Read more about it here.  In fact, it’s safe to say that Republicans other than Liz Cheney are sick of this shit.  The Guardian reported on it here.
  • Meanwhile, researchers studied how having a touch of narcissism may make you more objective, as long as the situation doesn’t involve you or you’ve decided you’re not interested.  Read the article for yourself here.  If you want to read part of a study on how narcissists experience empathy—if they develop it in the first place—you can do that here.
  • Chalk this up to another reason why social media is a fetid fucking cesspool: Being riled up makes you more likely to believe #fakenews.  You know, like your relative who posts the shit about Black Lives Matter sending people to riot in luxury buses.  You can read the article on the relationship between anger and being open to bullshit here, or you can read the actual study here.
  • Speaking of studies, researchers have determined that “Zoom fatigue” is a thing.  You know that drained, possibly hopeless feeling you have after a Zoom meeting?  It’s a thing.  Check it out right here.  So tell your coworker to please shut the fuck up with the toxic positivity, sucking up, and dad jokes.
  • Remember the nuclear bomb testing in New Mexico back in 1945?  I wasn’t there either, but those blasts created some quasicrystals.  They’re kind of pretty.  How long will it be before they show up on engagement rings?  You can check them out right here.
  • Meanwhile, in California, an angler fish—a fish that normally dwells near the bottom of the ocean—washed up on the beach.  Imagine seeing this H.P. Lovecraft-esque thing with a natural lightbulb on its head as you take a casual stroll.  Get the visual here.
  • Erstwhile Prince Harry is speaking out about what he calls “a genetic cycle of pain” and trauma.   Apparently the late Prince Phillip was an emotionally abusive douchebag with Charles. You can read more about it here.  The Ex-Prince also signed some pretty lucrative deals in the name of mental health awareness.  You can check that out here.
  • In case you need a reminder that we treat each other like shit, a 6-year-old boy in North Carolina was arrested for picking a flower at the bus stop.  Yeah, that happened.  What the fuck, North Carolina?  You can read about it here.

In astrological news, we have a pretty major moon in the near future.  Yep.  We have a full moon, eclipse, and a Mercury retrograde in the next week.  Feel free to watch Sloan Bella’s video on it:

After you’ve caught up on the news, why not check out my salty tarot podcast?  I use the tarot cards as inspiration for guided meditations.  The goal is to help you do things like unhook from negative people, calm down, get some clarity, and increase your intuition.  Here’s the latest:

https://anchor.fm/amy-muscarello/embed/episodes/Podcast-6-42621-Death-13-Endings-and-Rebirth-e10dequ

In case you need it, check out this info sheet on COVID-19 financial relief grants for those in need.  

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 5/19/21 – 5/26/21 and I got:  Ace of Swords (number 1 or 11, cutting away the unnecessary or false, clearing negative karma, new ways of thinking, the need to approach a situation with logic and reason, and getting to the truth); Three of Wands (number 3, success in business, possibly travel, opportunities for expansion, growth, and broadening one’s horizons); Judgment (number 20, a new way of looking at oneself, recognizing where change needs to happen, liberation, and lifestyle changes); and Princess of Wands (young fire sign female, an energetic person, wonder, initiative, creativity, and planting the seed for new projects and venture).  Wow.  This week is so shiny!!!  This spread contains an ace (Ace of Swords), Major Arcana (Judgment), and a court card (Princess of Wands).  So let’s check it out, yes?  Right off the bat, I’m looking at the first three cards, which is a theme sandwich.  Let me explain.  Our top slice of bread is the Ace of Swords, which is a huge card for karma-clearing and getting to the truth.  The Ace of Swords is also a card that speaks to clearing negative karma, getting called out, and maybe some harsh truth.  The Ace may hand you a bitter pill, but it is the exact remedy you need.  The meat in this sammich is the Three of Wands.  The Three is a weak-ish Minor Arcana card, but that’s okay because in context, it packs a major punch.  The bottom slice of this karma sammich is Judgment, a Major Arcana card that speaks to seeing yourself in a new way.  So why am I salivating over these three cards?  The major theme from the bread in this sammich is awakening, cutting away the bullshit and getting to the truth.  The Three of Wands talks about new opportunities, especially in the realm of creativity and career.  This spirit of optimism and new adventure is further supported by the Princess of Wands, which is the card of a promising new project or a surge of creativity.  I’m going to flash back to last week, when I said that you would learn the truth about a person or situation in your life.  Yes, coming to those realizations was probably painful and left you feeling a little rudderless, but this week is all about being free to go in a new direction.  I’ve read that Judgment corresponds to the sign of Scorpio, but then I’ve also read that it corresponds to Saggitarius.  Either way, the themes of Judgment are freedom and transformation.  (I have to warn you against self-sabotage, however.  This may be a good week to acknowledge and do some automatic writing around any fears of success you might have.)  The most likely scenario is getting news about your job, possibly in the form of a raise or promotion.  The travel aspect of the Three of Wands feels strong, even though we’re busy navigating a no-contact world.  But I feel this doesn’t have to be physical travel, especially when you consider the Ace of Swords and Judgment speak directly to changing the way you look at something.  I feel like this will most likely mean your sense of freedom will come from whatever truth you learned and processed.  The cards indicate this won’t be a sad event at all, as the Princess indicates you will be passionate about a new project or venture.  What’s weird is I feel like this won’t be a completely new project, more like an upcycled project you may have put on the back burner to accommodate the bullshit operating system that just got proven faulty.  Another running theme is the suit of Wands, which is the suit of energy, inspiration, and action.  This tells me you might feel physically good or energetic this week.  Pay attention to the opportunities in front of you and go with the one that energizes you the most, as this is your sign that you’re on the right track.  

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

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

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

Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue.  They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why buy a shirt that gives back?  Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need.  I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.

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

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

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

Tarot Reading of the Week: 5/11/21 – 5/18/21

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

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

NOTE:  I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt.  It’s not you, it’s me.  In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books.  You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them.  Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance.  I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading.  I apologize.

Here are a couple items in the news:

  • PierreXO dropped some truth bombs about Asian hate in 2019, which is two years before it became a hashtag.  Check it out here.
  • U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney got herself kicked out of the Republican party for speaking out against Trump.  (Yeah, the EX-President.)  You can read about that here, or a (decidedly) more biased take here.  Meanwhile, the New York Times is covering the blow-by-blow ouster and her meeting with Pres. Biden here.
  • Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani’s New York apartment got raided to investigate his ties to the Ukraine.  See for yourself.  That article is right here.  You can also read about Giuliani playing the victim here.
  • Oh, and Arizona is totally still listening to Trump’s whinings.  They’re recounting the 2020 ballots in Maricopa County.  The BBC objectively covers the story here.  Then you can read this op-ed about what it means for the future of U.S. elections (not that the GOP gives a shit).
  • Speaking of Arizona, they just passed a bullshit anti-abortion law, even though Gov. Ducey and the legislature was warned that passing this law would be “medically unsound.”  It may also be unconstitutional.  Check it out here.  Because words like “medically unsound” mean nothing to Jesus, right?  Whatever.  Get your fucking religion out of the damn laws!!!
  • Famous holy roller and Ashley Madison enthusiast *cough* hypocrite *cough* Josh Duggar was found with more than 200 images of child porn on his computer.  See for yourself right here.  But don’t worry, folks, because all that praying did something.  Josh is allowed supervised visits with his children.  Oh, yes.  That article is over here.  Is that white privilege or Christian privilege at play?

After you’ve caught up on the news, why not check out my salty tarot podcast?  I use the tarot cards as inspiration for guided meditations.  The goal is to help you do things like unhook from negative people, calm down, get some clarity, and increase your intuition.  Here’s the latest:

https://anchor.fm/amy-muscarello/embed/episodes/Podcast-6-42621-Death-13-Endings-and-Rebirth-e10dequ

You can also check out one of the more informative astrology YouTubers here:

In case you need it, check out this info sheet on COVID-19 financial relief grants for those in need.  

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 5/11/21 – 5/18/21 and I got:  The Moon (number 18, secrets, prophetic dreams, a time to go inward, emotional triggers, self-reflection, issues with feeling nurtured, psychic experiences, creativity, mood swings); the Tower (number 16, a destructive experience that is liberating, uncomfortable changes, issues coming to a head, confrontation, and breakdown of old structures or thought patterns); the Hermit (number 9, using inner wisdom to find answers, withdrawing from the material world, possibly loneliness, inner work, preparing for a major change, a life review, taking stock, and experiencing what is meaningful to oneself); and the Two of Cups (number 2, relationships based on friendships, equal relationships, harmony, accepting others, a new relationship, renewal of an existing relationship, and balance within oneself).  The first thing I see with this spread is we have a karma layer cake with our three Major Arcana cards: the Moon, the Tower, and the Hermit.  (Depending on what the nature of the conflict is, this may be more of a trifle because sometimes people be triflin’.)  I feel like the Major Arcana cards need to be read in order here, so let’s do that.  First we have the Moon, which tells me this might be the week that there’s a lot of energy around certain open secrets or an elephant in the room (something everyone knows, but refuses to call it by name.)  I feel like whatever secrets are festering just under the surface are going to be blown wide open, thanks to the destructive energy of the Tower right next to the Moon.  (Side Note: the Tower corresponds to number 16, which is one of the karmic debt numbers in numerology.  This tells me that whatever exposure, reveal, shake up, or just plain fucked up situation that emerges is not only deeply rooted in the past, but is also fated to be dealt with and brought to light.)  The inward nature of the Hermit next to the projectile vomit nature of the Tower shows me whatever eruption occurs is likely to be more implosive in nature.  In fact, do yourself a solid and use the energy you would have wasted on cutting a bitch and use that energy on some serious self-reflection.  The wacky secretiveness of the Moon and the wisdom of the Hermit makes me think that your reaction to the Karmic Explosion (™) will be what either sets you free of this ongoing bullshit or drowns you deeper in the drama.  This would definitely be a week to write a letter you’ll never send to the bringer of the bullshit, do a cleansing spell over the letter, then burn it.  If these Major Arcana cards could talk, I feel like they would say, “Hey!  Over here!  Sorry to get your attention like this, but we’re giving you a prime opportunity to cut the fucking cord with (insert name of Drama Bringer (™) here).  Don’t do or say anything you’ll regret.  Just get your emotional shit together and cut ties.”  You can use my meditation on unhooking etheric cords or try this one.  If you’re into spellwork, this might be a great time to speak with the Norse Goddess Hel or Archangel Azrael.  I don’t see any cards that specifically denote family in this spread, but the emo nature of the Moon makes me wonder if this conflict involves a family member or someone very attuned to you.  This spread ends with the Two of Cups, which is either the weakest love card in the deck or the strongest platonic relationship card in the deck, depending on the other cards.  When the Two signifies romantic relationship, it is either a relationship that is just beginning or an established relationship that is being seen in a new light.  No matter what type of relationship the Two talks about, it signifies a relationship that is based on equality and acceptance.  Ending our karmic layered dessert with the Two of Cups shows me three possibilities.  One, this conflict being brought to the surface will ultimately benefit one of your closest relationships, but probably not the one with the karmic constipation.  I feel like actual loved ones—rather than the ain’t shit bitches, as Alma Redacted would say—will see you in a whole new light after this situation gives your karma a colonic.  Two, the conflict being brought to light has everything to do with the relationship being mentioned in this spread, but will serve to make it better in the long run.  Three, the best result of this situation would be to focus on yourself and the people that have demonstrated their worth.  I feel like the Hermit appears in this spread because you’re dealing with a situation that you’ve either suspected or known about for a long time, but was kept silent to keep the peace.  The Hermit is your need to process what you’re going to do with this new information so that you can make a move, which makes me wonder if this is a situation that has kept you in limbo or overly obligated for a long time.  Take stock of the relationships in your life that are honestly healthy, as the Tower has a habit of making the things—including people—in your life that you don’t need disappear.

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

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

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

Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue.  They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.

For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why buy a shirt that gives back?  Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need.  I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.

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

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

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

Tarot Reading of the Week: 3/30/21 – 4/6/21 and 4/7/21 – 4/14/21

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

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

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

Like you, I’ve been hearing a lot about the hate crimes against Asians—mostly women and older Asian Americans—happening across the country.  The current estimate is approximately 3,800 violent crimes against Asian Americans occurred in the last 12 months, which is a 150% increase from 2019-2020.  Here are a few of the recent crimes that brought this to light:

And that’s just the highlight reel, as well as the tip of the iceberg.  This anti-Asian sentiment has been building since the 19th Century, when the first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived.  America’s side eye towards immigrants goes as far back as Benjamin Franklin’s marked dislike of German immigrants, which was before the U.S. was even a country.  But we can focus on how shitty we are to each other in a bit.  Right now, I’d like to talk about the most current wave of hate.

But I can only go so far when I do that.  I may be American, but I’m not Asian.  Pretending I understand what they’re facing is just fucking insulting.  However, I’ve been trying to boil down the news so that I don’t get overwhelmed by crass emotional appeals and possibly learn something.  Here’s what I know:

I don’t have to be Asian to be appalled by this on a human level, but I can’t speak to the Asian American experience in a way that won’t be completely marginalizing and awkward.  Hell, I could be part of the problem for all I know.  Think of it like this:

  • Imagine you were raised in a particular Christian religion, but went to a school where everyone else went to a different type of judeo Christian church.
  • You were mercilessly bullied.  Before you tell me that there’s no bullying among god-fearing folk, this study right here says Christian boys feel perfectly entitled to bully girls.  In fact, you can read this woman’s experiences with bullying in the LDS church.  It boils down to church propaganda telling members of their special club that their religion makes you the Chosen One who is entitled to overpower others with your chosen-ness.  If your religion denounces premarital sex, but promotes the patriarchy as law, this bullying is likely to be sexual in nature.  This goes double if said churchgoer is really good at sports.
  • Your main bullies happened to be the school “It” couple.  She was a cheerleader and he was the quarterback or some other shit that really shouldn’t matter.  The harassment was relentless and cruel when you encountered just one of them, but the two of them together were some fucked up Voltron hot mess.  
  • Your grades slipped.  You always sat in the back of the classroom, praying that nobody would notice you.  You started thinking of yourself as a giant piece of crap.  You always felt nauseous before you had to go to school.  
  • You wanted the bullying to stop, but you were afraid that reporting the abuse would either brand you as a liar or just make it worse.  So you allow this to be your normal and just focus on getting through school.
  • You graduate and do pretty well for yourself.  However, you’re carrying a few lingering bags, such as impostor syndrome, maybe a little misplaced aggression, and trust issues.  So you choose to focus on the positives in your New Normal (™) until…
  • You have to go to a grocery store in your home town and find that there’s a huge mob of Holy Karens blocking your way.  They’re carrying signs with purple ribbons to #stopthehate and #stopbullyingnow.
  • One Holy Karen takes the stage to talk about how she started this movement because her friend’s beautiful, perfect kid heard about a student who was being mercilessly bullied at your alma mater.  You start to recognize this Holy Karen.
  • In fact, the Holy Karen speaking is THE Holy Karen, as in your old classmate…  aka one half of the Hateful Christian Voltron.
  • She continues talking about the evils of bullying and why we need to take this seriously.  Her speech is full of generalizations, yet devoid of self-awareness.  But somehow THE Holy Karen is the saintly victim of this scenario.

How the fuck would you feel?

Whatever feeling you named is perfectly valid.  

But let’s break down some of the dynamics here:

  • You spent years carrying around the shame, anger, feelings of inferiority, anxiety, depression, feelings of worthlessness, and other side effects of abuse THE Holy Karen and her high school quarterback attack dog hadouken-ed at your head on a daily basis.
  • Jesus’s quarterback attack dog and his Holy Karen chew toy probably never gave this abuse a second thought.
  • What’s more, they probably felt perfectly entitled to be bullying assholes because a power greater than them told them that they were Chosen Ones.  Who’s gonna argue with God-given superiority granted by ordained (probably) men?  This isn’t abuse.  It’s just the natural order of things.  Sucks to be you.
  • Self-awareness and compassion are choices, as are choosing to remain ignorant and acting like an abusive asshole.

That being said, all we non-Asians can really do is listen to what the Asian American community has to say and be open to learning that we may have been contributing to this dynamic somehow.  The hyperlinks in my first bulleted list can help, as can these videos:

  • You can watch a brief history of hatred of Asians from the Asian American point of view right here.
  • This girl has quite a bit to say about how she as an Asian American views the recent hate crimes.  You can watch it here.
  • Ever wonder how Asian Americans feel about the #StopAsianHate hashtag?  Here’s one perspective.

There’s plenty of material out there.  I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more info and resources, but you can just as easily go down the rabbit hole if you’re so inclined.

As to being open to learning how you might have contributed to the dynamic, my advice would be to start with meditating on how you might be showing up as a bully in your own life.  You might want to see if you relate to anything on this checklist, or you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where in your life do you feel smarter, more mature, more “together,” healthier, or superior to others in your life?  How do you tend to show your superiority?
  • Describe the first time you felt superior to someone in your life.  Who was it?  What was the situation?  What made you feel like you were better than them?
  • What are some stereotypes you have of people who are different from you?  Describe a time when you judged someone based on one of these stereotypes.
  • Describe a time when one of these stereotypes proved to be true.  What was the situation?  Who else was involved?  How did the stereotype prove to be true?
  • Describe a time when one of these stereotypes proved to be false?  What was the situation?  How was this proven false?
  • Describe a time when you felt justified in stereotyping someone.  What was the situation?  What made you feel like you could safely judge another person?
  • What is something negative people say about you?  Is this true or false?
  • How do you feel when others make snap judgments about you?  Do you confront them on this or let it be?
  • Describe a time when someone judged you without really knowing you or your situation.  What was the situation?  Who else was involved?
  • What are some things you tell yourself about Asian Americans as a group?  Are these things you have observed about them or things that others have told you?  How do others support your views on Asian Americans?
  • What are some things that make your stereotypes about Asian Americans true?  Do you feel this is positive or negative?
  • What are some things that make your stereotypes about Asian Americans false?  Do you feel this is positive or negative?
  • What are you willing to do differently regarding stereotyping Asian Americans?  Describe one small action step you can take this week.

Bet that made you feel like an asshole.  Expect a lot more of that special feeling this year.  Sorry.

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, check out this info on the upcoming new moon in Aries:

In case you need it, check out this info sheet on COVID-19 financial relief grants for those in need.  

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

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 3/30/21 – 4/6/21 and I got:  The Hierophant (number 5, traditions, gaining wisdom from dreams, teachers or mentors, learning, seeking knowledge, questioning what society expects of one, spiritual or emotional healing, and possibly the teacher becoming the student); Queen of Cups (water sign, someone nurturing and empathic, someone prone to emotional flooding, sensitive person, intuitive person, a sympathetic ear, and the need to be kind to oneself); Ten of Pentacles (number 10, family karma, family burdens, inheritance, memories and myths passed down, financial security, and wisdom from elders); and Judgment (number 20, looking at oneself differently, viewing a situation or oneself honestly, inevitable change, changing one’s patterns, and a new beginning).  This spread begins and ends with Major Arcana cards.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while—thank you, by the way—you know that a Major Arcana sandwich means lessons, lessons, and more lessons.  We have had nothing but lessons for the last year, but let’s make like Joey Chestnut in the last few seconds of that hot dog eating contest and stuff a little more down your spiritual gullet.  Wanna know what the funny part of this is?  And by funny I mean the part that will have you rocking back and forth, mumbling, “Make it stop, Mommy.  I’ll be good.  Make it stop…”   These lessons appear to be karmic and family-oriented in nature.  Let’s tackle the bread in this karma sammich slice-by-slice.  First we have the Hierophant, the guru of the Major Arcana.  Some see him as the male component of the High Priestess because they both impart wisdom.  However, unlike the still and self-possessed High Priestess, our buddy the Hierophant tends to use others to reflect these lessons through their behavior and your reactions to said behavior.  The Hierophant wants you to think about the traditions and routines you have been engaging in your whole life.  What are the automatic thoughts that create these automatic behaviors?  Are these traditions, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings helping you or hurting you?  The other slice of bread in our karmic lessons sammich is my old pal Judgement.  If the Hierophant is the lessons learned, Judgement is the ah-ha moment itself.  Judgment signifies the liberation that comes from seeing things in a new light.  In the negative sense, this can mean something you wish you could unsee.  The big shift from the Judgment card happens in the way you see yourself.  In light of the family-themed cards, my feeling is this might be the week where you receive a piece of information—most likely from a dream or observing someone else dealing with a similar situation—that changes the way you view your life and your role in it.  This might mean you learn something that helps you see your abusive relative in a more sympathetic light.  Or you might understand that those mistakes you made as a child were a result of you trying to survive by using what you knew in the best way you could.  Now let’s get into the filling of our sammich. Right next to the Hierophant is the Queen of Cups, which signifies a psychic, water sign, or emotional female.  The sensitive, emotional nature of this Queen tells me the lesson that rears its head this week is one that has been screaming for closure for a long time.  Or you have some deep-rooted issues with a mother or daughter figure.  Or you’re coming to terms with the fact that you are not the nurturing, kind person you wanted to be.  Right by our pal the Queen of Cups is the Ten of Pentacles, which is a card about family traditions and inheritance.  The P, B, and J of this karmic sammich has to do with your role in your family and your feelings of security in a community or family.  (Hint: Your feelings of belonging in a community or organization—or your inability to feel like you belong, regardless of whether you actually do—are often rooted in what role you played in your family.)  Whatever you see and learn this week will have you questioning your place in the world, since your role in your own life up till now may have been based on a lie.  The good news here is that we don’t see our more tragic upheaval cards, such as the Tower or my personal favorite, Death.  This tells me although the lesson will be powerful and pivotal, it won’t cause any ripples of destruction a la Thanos snapping his fingers to his favorite tune.  The ripples it will cause, however, will lead to you rethinking your place in the world.  All that to say even though this week needs to come with an Emo Trigger Warning (™), these triggers are only coming to the surface so that you can finally make peace with old uncomfortable loose ends.  The best things to do for yourself this week are to:

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 4/7/21 – 4/14/21 and I got:  King of Pentacles (earth sign male, financially secure person, kind and loving person, a good business person, loyal and reliable person, possibly possessive, the need to approach a matter with caution, and a generous person); Ace of Swords (number 1 or 11, cutting through unnecessary filler, truth, new ways of thinking about something, coming from a place of logic and intellect, clearing one’s thoughts, and clearing karma); Knight of Pentacles (earth sign male, hard-working and ambitious person, loyal and reliable person, good work ethic, generous and tactile person, and someone mistaken for boring or slow); and Two of Swords (number 2, stalemate, the need to clear one’s thoughts, the need to find balance within oneself, the need to focus on the facts, and the need to clarify one’s position).  Huh.  This spread is a bit of a head-scratcher, but let’s get our hands dirty.  The first thing I notice is we have two opposite suits here—Pentacles and Swords.  Pentacles is the feminine suit of earth energy.  It’s also the dead slowest energy of the tarot.  Any spread loaded with Pentacles tells me two things.  First, we’re dealing with something tangible, financial, or related to overall physical health.  Second, a spread chock full o’ Pentacles often means you’re dealing with serious delays.  This thing that you want won’t happen overnight.  Then we have the suit of Swords, aka the fastest suit in the tarot.  Swords are the masculine suit of thinking, ideas, and communication.  The mix of air (thinking and communicating) and earth (money and putting in the work) makes me feel like this is a week of baby steps.  Your mind will work faster than the material world right now.  Energy won’t quite match action, but the two Pentacles cards (King and Knight) in this spread tend to focus on the big picture.  We have a karmic vibe, thanks to the Ace of Swords.  This Ace clears away the crap and hates unnecessary chatter, which is great because the Two of Swords tells me that you’ll need a little clarity.  I feel like this spread is a continuation of last week’s reading.  If last week happened to bring old issues to the surface, this week is when you figure out how to clear them for good.  The Pentacles cards tell me you have practical help available.  It may be in the form of good life advice, a friend who gives you money, or help with your daily activities.  The King and the Knight also feel like they signify a reward of sorts.  Maybe your life opens up because you appropriately worked through your triggers last week.  The catch is, you need to get out of your head (Two of Swords) to properly understand that the help is available.  The confusion brought on by the Two plays into the necessary clearing of karmic crap signified by the Ace of Swords.  The Two of Swords advises you to separate fact from fiction, logic from emotion.  Now is not the time to make emotional or impulsive decisions.  Now is not the time to make a decision based on rumors or stereotypes.  The Ace is reminding us that you need to think things through, as this is when you have the option to release karma appropriately.  Not doing so will result in ongoing karmic patterns you aren’t going to like.  Here are a few tips to help you wade through the karmic sewage this week:

  • Identify the parts of your life where you feel stuck, frustrated, and burned out.
  • Make a list of all your obstacles.  What are the common themes (i.e. money, family, shitty friends, et al)?
  • Make a list of the relationships that leave you feeling happy, fulfilled, calm, and hopeful.  What about these relationships works for you?
  • Make a list of the relationships that leave you feeling drained, frustrated, angry, and like you can’t be yourself.  What about these relationships sucks your soul out of your belly button?
  • Write down the current conflicts in your life.  What are the common themes?  Are they with the same people or entities?
  • Now think about your role in the current conflicts.  Do you overreact or play the victim?  Do you say yes when you mean no?  What can you control about these conflicts?
  • Do something that makes you happy just because you can.
  • Make a list of what you consider weaknesses and defects.  How are these things also your strengths (i.e. being stubborn helps you push through difficult situations)?
  • Decide on at least one way you can do things differently this week.
  • Try this tonglen meditation for compassion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Super Special Guest, Marshall Delaware

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, back to the lecture at hand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready? Let’s do it.

Death (Reversed)

8 of Swords (Reversed)

3 of Cups (Reversed)

The Tower

6 of Wands (Reversed)

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

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

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

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

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

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

Good luck.

Is Spice Suspending Judgment, or Having Cold Feet…?

Well, that was bleak.  

The video brings up a few important points:

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

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

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

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

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

But let’s see what the cards say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop Being an Ingrate #3: March 2021 Gratitude Spell

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

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

Raise your hand if you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stoic Guide to Difficult Emotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, let’s get on with the spell.  

First, The Usual Ground Rules…

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

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

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

Here are my suggestions:

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

Gratitude Spell for March 2021

What You Need:

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

What You Will Do:

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

Journal Questions #3: Difficult Emotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Age, my ass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alka Seltzer in hand, I watched this video:

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

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

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

Maybe it’s time we all ask ourselves:

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

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

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

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

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

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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