Stop Being an Ingrate #2: February 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.

Welcome to Month #2 of using a gratitude spell in lieu of a weekly reading.  I put the whole Rube Goldberg machine that is my thought process as to why I believe a monthly gratitude spell is a good idea in the post I did a couple weeks ago, but I understand that my thought process can be a fucking saga.  We’re talking a full-on Narnia or Star Wars-level saga, but with way more curse words and way less depth.  If the thought of digging through my brain gives you a migraine, here are the major points:

So What is Stoicism and Why Should You Care?

It all started with Zeno building on the teachings of the ancient Cynics—Greek philosophers, not your idiot sibling who can’t be bothered to say anything positive— in 301 BC.  Stoicism as we know it—also called Late Stoa—was popularized by Seneca and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius until Christianity overshadowed it around 4th Century A.D.  Although I can see why pop culture equates the word stoic with a Cool Hand Luke, unemotional approach to the world, the basic premise of stoicism is releasing emotional, financial, and ideological attachments.  They considered virtue the perfection of reason, or maintaining a rational mindset that does not assume superiority.  Stoics divided virtue into four main categories:

  • Wisdom (being able to objectively discern what you’re seeing and what you can and cannot control about it)
  • Justice (the concept of doing no harm and acting in the common good, not just looking out for your selfish interests)
  • Courage (willingness to get out of your comfort zone to gain something greater)
  • Moderation (exercising self-control, walking the middle ground between scarcity and being self-indulgent)

Essentially, stoicism is all about keeping to a basic blueprint so that you don’t fall prey to the shit—control fallacies, the constant need to escape our feelings, greed, entitlement, and hysteria—that’s currently making We the Collective (™) miserable.  Here are a couple stoic beliefs that are relevant to what we’re doing:

  • Memento Mori, or understanding that you ain’t special enough to cheat death.
  • Understanding that the obstacle will show you the way forward..
  • Taking stock of what you can control vs. what you cannot.
  • Gratitude.

And there’s your segue.  The reason I chose to do a stoic gratitude practice in the form of a spell is that I think spellwork is a great tool to focus your mind and energy, as well as help you connect with your guides.  This will help open your mind to useful solutions, rather than keep you in a state of ask, believe, receive fuckery or victimhood.  Oh, I also practice witchcraft.

Check out the stoicism basics here:

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.  Or do a little Swedish death cleaning.  

Gratitude Spell for February 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 one 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 #2: Bad Relationships

EDIT: Sometimes a bad relationship involves mental, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, or sexual abuse. Sometimes a bad relationship means another person’s wounds inadvertently did some real damage to you. If this is what you experienced in these relationships, please know that I’m sorry and that the other person’s behavior IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I repeat, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANOTHER PERSON DECIDING TO REACT WITH RAGE, MANIPULATION, FORCE, OR OTHER NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS. The main message here is that all parties are responsible for their choices and behaviors. Abuse is NEVER okay. If you find that you were either the abuser or on the receiving end of abuse, please talk with a qualified mental health professional so that you can heal.

  1.  Make a list of the most toxic, frustrating, depressing, draining, or pointless relationships you have ever had.  They can be romantic relationships, work relationships, friendships, or family relationships.  Just use the first five examples that come to mind.
  2. For each relationship, describe where you were in your life at the time.  How would you describe yourself when you were with that person?  What did you think you wanted from a relationship at that time?
  3. For each relationship, describe the other person in at least three words.  What do each of these people have in common with each other?  What do each of these people have in common with you?
  4. For each relationship, describe what made the relationship toxic, boring, draining, negative, challenging, etc. in at least three words.  What do each of these relationships have in common with each other?  What do each of these relationships have in common with the way you see yourself?
  5. For each relationship, describe something positive you got from this relationship in at least three words.  What positive aspects do these relationships have in common?  How are they different?
  6. For each relationship, describe something positive that you did during that relationship in at least three words.  How did these positive actions affect your relationship?  Are you willing to do these positive things in other relationships?  Why or why not?
  7. For each relationship, describe something negative that you did during that relationship in at least three words.  How did these negative actions affect your relationship?  When did you realize that your actions were negative?
  8. Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship change you in negative ways?  What is at least one thing you learned from these negative changes?  Do you benefit from any of these negative changes?  If so, how?
  9. Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship change you in positive ways?  What about these changes benefits you the most?
  10. Based on your answers to these questions, how did each relationship shape your life?  Is this more positive or negative?
  11. Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about yourself?  How do you use these lessons today?  How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
  12. Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about how to have a healthy relationship?  How do you use these lessons today?  How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
  13. Based on your answers to these questions, what did each relationship teach you about how you behave towards others?  How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
  14. Based on your answers to these questions, what relationship patterns do you want to change? What makes these patterns negative, challenging, or self-sabotaging for you?  How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
  15. Based on your answers to these questions, which of your relationship patterns do you want to continue?  What makes these patterns useful or positive for you?  How can you use this information to help yourself this week?
  16. What parts of these negative relationships are easiest for you to accept, own, or let go?  Why is that?
  17. What parts of these negative relationships are hardest for you to accept, own, or let go?  Why?
  18. Based on your answers to these questions, what parts of these difficult relationships are you most grateful for?  How can this gratitude and your answers to these questions help you let go of, accept, or own the most difficult parts of these relationships?  Are you willing to do this?

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: 2/10/21 – 2/17/21 and 2/17/21 – 2/24/21

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 about you, but I’ve been in a state of post-Trump exhaustion for about six weeks.  I can’t even bring myself to be surprised that Republicans acquitted the man twice.  Impeach him once, shame on him.  Let him off scot-free twice, shame on you.  If this was 2019, I would’ve fired off a scathing roast of the whole damn system.  But I uncharacteristically White girl can’t even in early 2021.  My inability to even due to news exhaustion is just odd.  I mean, we have Marjorie Taylor Greene blaming wild fires on “Jewish space lasers.”  Jewish.  Fucking.  Space.  Lasers.  This woman is a college graduate.  Even more frightening than that, enough Georgians saw fit to elect her to the House of Representatives in 2020.  

In a related sidebar, I actually considered running for public office in the last five years.  The powers that be let me get a couple college degrees.  Most of my adult life has been spent in community service-type jobs.  I genuinely care about a win-win way of being.  What stopped me, you ask?  I thought my lack of law degree rendered me unqualified and my pagan spiritual beliefs would make me seem a little too out there for the masses.

So what’s weirder: the fact that I practice witchcraft or Rep. Taylor Greene believing that Jewish people would band together to burn shit to the ground with frickin’ laser beams?  This isn’t (entirely) sour grapes.  After some soul-searching, I realized I would truly hate public office almost as much as I despised the shenanigans of the last six years.  I have also spent the last six years wondering, How the fuck did we get here?

But back to Rep. Space Lasers.  Here are my questions about the whole debacle:

  • Why is an elected official so comfortable maligning Jewish people in a public forum?
  • Why are so many people this comfortable with electing people who don’t have the ability to understand that their beliefs don’t need to be sprayed onto the masses, like a broken sewage pipe?
  • How do average, potentially rational people get sucked into the extreme ideological pockets?
  • How does the crazy outweigh compassion for people other than your own kind?
  • When Marjorie Taylor Greene took World History, did she accidentally mistake the text book for the Mel Brooks movie History of the World, Part 1?

Her idiotic fucking comment is as low as I hope we get, but I’m sure this Great American Political Limbo Game (™) will continue.  Here’s why:

  • We are locked into a self-soothing, continually self-affirming echo chamber that Marshall Delaware calls the my feelz is realz mindset.  If it feels bad or uncomfortable, then it must not be true.  I’m not sure when or why the truth needs to announce itself by giving you a hug and a cup of your favorite beverage, but here we are.
  • We are convinced that we know better than the experts because it’s more important to make it make sense using our limited knowledge than to expand our horizons in unfamiliar and—dare I say it—uncomfortable ways. 
  • The swells of kook outrage, the chest-thumping of greedy Republicans with something to hide, and the bellows of half-baked Gen Z SJW’s from We the Collective (™) mean more than due process, investigating both sides, and doing what’s right for all considered.

But my dear comrades, we’ve been here before.  You can find examples of why I feel this way all over this blog.  In the interest of time, however, I will let Liam McEvoy explain it for me.  This video is worth watching:

I absolutely love the way he puts his videos together and am curious where life will take him.

But I show you this video for reasons other than restoring your faith in young people.  Liam McEvoy’s video illustrates the following points:

  • Allowing outrage and strong emotion to dictate your decisions leaves you wide open for manipulation.
  • Your need for instant gratification or emotional release is not the best guide for long-term decisions or decisions that affect others.
  • Not being transparent about your biases often leads to corruption.
  • Shutting down respectful discussions about our differences is dangerous.  Internet pissing contests, however, should always be avoided.
  • Learning to tolerate a healthy amount of discomfort leads to growth and maturity.  Knowing the difference between healthy, necessary discomfort and abuse is a good skill to cultivate.
  • Don’t assume my feelz is realz.  Your feelings are reactionary.  Blind reaction is different than an informed or rational decision.
  • Not understanding where our biases end and fact begins leaves us open to cancel culture and falling for demagoguery.

I don’t have any spells or chants to undo the last few years.  As much as these last few years have caused me to dislike and mistrust people I care about, I’m not sure I would want to undo them.  These last few years have reminded me of something I took for granted because I got too comfortable.  Namely, whether or not I decide to think critically, rather than react is my choice.  

Here are a couple activities and questions to help you start regaining your objectivity:

  • Take a moment to notice your environment.  List everything you can see, feel, hear, smell, and touch.  However, do not do anything more than observe.
  • Now ask yourself the following questions: 
    • What do I think, feel, hear, smell, and touch that makes me happy?
    • What are some memories or past experiences that I associate with the things that make me happy?  
    • How am I projecting my memories and experiences of happiness onto the present?
    • What do I think, feel, hear, smell, and touch that makes me upset, stressed, anxious, sad, or unhappy?
    • What are some memories or past experiences that I associate with the things that make me upset or sad?
    • How am I projecting my memories and experiences of feeling upset onto the present? 

I must show you my new tarot crush, Alma Redacted.  It’s probably relevant to mention that she is Bea Lucile’s fraternal twin sister.  Both ladies are immensely personable and talented, but don’t expect them to be the same person just because they’re twins.  In Freudian terms, Bea functions as more of a super ego (professional, by-the-book, polite, and all about the greater good), whereas Alma is more of the id (#nofilter, a bit of a loose cannon, acknowledges the *ahem* baser instincts, and a wee bit raw).  This is a good example of how Alma reads.  Her level of detail is impressive, considering these pick-a-card readings tend to not give many specifics.  Check it out:

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…?

***Yes, I’m late again.  It will probably happen again, even though my regret is real.  All I can do is keep doing the best I can and, in the short term, give you a two-fer.  Consider this my new theme song:

I asked the cards what we needed to know for the week of 2/10/21 – 2/17/21 and I got:  Ten of Cups (number 10, love, joy, happiness, emotional fulfillment, dreams coming true, a good time to set a plan in motion, and contagious optimism); Justice (number 11, Libra energy, the need to take responsibility for an area of one’s life, separating thoughts from feelings, legal issues, fairness, negotiations, getting one’s words to match actions, and the need to be honest with oneself); the Hierophant (number 5, gaining wisdom from dreams, teachers and mentors, life lessons, tradition, the need to question what society expects of one, keeping one’s integrity in the face of criticism, and a situation that heals old wounds); the Devil (number 15, temptation, exposing something that was kept hidden, being faced with one’s weaknesses, the need to stop blaming others for one’s limitations, and feeling bound by fear).  Yeesh.  This is one of those layered, nuanced spreads with shades of emotional baggage.  You’re reading this in retrospect, but bear with me.  We do not have a set numerical theme, but three out of these four cards are Major Arcana cards.  This means the themes in these cards are possibly tied to your karmic missions or baggage you’re carrying in this lifetime.  Whatever the case, these themes are the key to working through some major energetic and emotional knots.  The common threads that run through Justice, the Hierophant, and the Devil are lessons and exposing the truth.  Let’s take these cards one-by-one.  We start wit the Ten of Cups, which is a card that indicates gaining your heart’s desire.  The issue here is with the other three cards, which makes me wonder if your fear of success or feelings that you are not good enough might fill you with anxiety.  Right next to the blissful Ten is the sobering card of Justice.  On the surface, this is a card of righting wrongs, negotiations, and legal stuff.  But think of Justice as the sign of Libra, which is obsessed with fairness.  People tend to think of Libra as delusional romantics—or superficial whores, depending on the context—but Libra is an intellectual sign that understands there is a time to give in to your feelings, as well as a time to be objective.  That’s balance, baby.  In this case, Justice is telling me that this would be a good week to make sure your actions and words match, as well as observing others for the same level of integrity.  Our next card is the Hierophant, the card of teachers, lessons, and traditions.  The Hierophant will make you think long and hard about who you are and what you think you’re here to do.  Next to Justice, the Hierophant gives me the feeling that any teaching or lessons you’re going to get this week will be via having some aspect of your behavior reflected back at you.  This spread ends with the Devil, which has a couple main meanings.  The surface meaning of the Devil is what you’d expect: earthly temptations, such as sex, food, and anything else you can milk from the seven deadly sins (not the anime).  The Devil represents any parts of the self you feel you can’t bring around the Queen for tea or the aspect of you who just wants to let your freak flag fly.  On the DL, the Devil represents these darker parts of a situation—or yourself—coming to light.  Be mindful of any urges to cut corners, go all Godzilla on a bitch, take something you haven’t earned, gossip, ruin someone else, or otherwise be a dickbag.  You will be exposed.  Conversely, you may end up on the receiving end of someone else’s shadow self.  In terms of this spread starting with a deliriously happy card—the Ten of Cups—all of these harsh lesson cards give me the feeling that you need to beware of your fears of success or acting out because you think the other shoe is about to drop.

I asked the cards what we need to know for the week of 2/17/21 – 2/24/21:  Knight of Cups (water sign male, fuck boy energy, new romantic prospect, impractical ideas, someone who loves art and music, a sensitive and gentle person, and bad follow through); Queen of Swords (air sign female, someone who seems cold due to emotional wounds, a logical friend, good advice, someone who intellectualizes their feelings, an independent person, and the need for diplomacy); the Hermit (number 9, Virgo energy, the need to stop listening to outside influences, going within to seek answers, loneliness, preparation for a major change, time to review one’s life and actions, and knowing what one wants); and the Moon (number 18, intuition, hidden motives, prophetic dreams, the need to reflect on one’s feelings, mood swings, hormone fluctuations, issues related to motherhood, creativity, and the need to identify one’s triggers).  Once again, we have a spread with no set numerical theme, but there isn’t a weak card in the line up.  The first half of this spread is made up of court cards, namely the Knight of Cups and the Queen of Swords.  These two royals couldn’t be more different if they tried, unless one of them turned into a Pentacle card.  Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, the Knight of Cups is creative, romantic, and sensitive, buuuttt homeboy can’t commit.  He is Mr. Right Now.  The Queen of Swords is the logical, clear-minded chick who ain’t got time for your roses and sonnets.  These two in a spread together make me feel like they refer more to aspects of yourself, rather than outside influences.  But let’s look at both possibilities.  The Knight of Cups is a daydreaming, distracting element in your life.  This Knight is not likely to be a permanent presence.  If he represents a person, it could mean a new romantic prospect or friend who sucks you into their world because  the sky is so sparkly there.  If the Knight is you, then expect to be distracted by all the pretty colors this week.  The Queen of Swords is the blast of cold air that gets your ass out of bed.  If she represents a person, she’s probably highly intelligent and able to see through bullshit.  The Queen usually represents someone who has no time for fairy tales and probably comes off as a bit cold because she’s been hurt so many times.  Her coldness is a defense mechanism.  If she represents a person, expect her to be that friend who gives you the advice you needed, but didn’t want.  She might be an authority figure, like a boss who has to give unvarnished feedback or  even part of the legal system.  Next to the highly romantic Knight, the Queen could represent someone who is daydreaming or hitting the snooze button on reality for a minute to avoid some harsh truths. These two cards together also tell me that you need to separate fact from fantasy.  Don’t get caught up in what ifs, shallow it would be nice-type thoughts, or things that haven’t happened. The lone wolf aspect of the Hermit underscores the independence of the Queen, but adds an attention to detail that only Virgo energy can bring.  Virgos have the reputation of the OCD, basic bitches of the zodiac.  What doesn’t get talked about is how loyal and observant they are.  Virgos are a pain in the ass in many ways, but they are a sign that understands the sentiment of “through thick and thin.”  The Hermit carries the integrity theme from last week to the present.  This is curious because the Hermit follows two wildly different court cards.  The Hermit is a reminder to go within, rather than listening to outside forces.  Simply put, don’t internalize any messages from anyone or anything that seems too seductive or overly harsh.  Neither your inner critic nor your inner echo chamber are going to steer you in the right direction this week.  The only thing that can help you is to shut off the external noise and let your thoughts be heard without judgment.  Like a true Virgo, the Hermit is giving you some sound—albeit possibly unsolicited—advice on how to deal with the mood swings and flashes of intuition signified by the Moon.  Usually associated with the sign of Cancer, the Moon is every bit as watery and sensitive as the Knight of Cups, which kicked off this spread.  There are a couple key differences between the Knight and the Moon, though.  The Knight deals with romance and temporary distraction, whereas the Moon deals with things buried in the subconscious coming to light.  Think of a kinder, gentler version of the Devil from last week.  The Moon is a card of mood swings, flashes of intuition, and prophetic dreams.  The fact that this spread begins and ends with the element of water tells me this week will be an emotional one for many of us.  Thankfully, though, the Moon not only brings the emotional triggers, but also gives us the insight and intuition to actually listen to your heart in a way that does you some good.   This spread is half romantic, emotional cards and half super rational cards.  This week is all about balancing your practical insights and evidence with what feel like some deep emotions and triggers.  It might be a good idea for you to balance three actions each day—one indulgent act, one practical act, and one act of 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!
delusio

Stop Being an Ingrate #1: January 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.  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.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but does anyone remember what your 2020 pre-COVID goals were?  It seems like We the Collective (™) spent January and at least the first half of February in the hopeful, focused post-Christmas afterglow.  We hit the gym, pretzeled ourselves on the yoga mat, started a journal, took social media breaks, embraced the mental health benefits of gratitude, ate clean, went vegan, cut sugar, SoulCycled, Soul Collaged, searched our souls, vowed not to sell our souls to work, and went out of our way to document the whole fucking thing on social media.

We the Collective (™) took a mass breath of self-satisfaction like the smug assholes We the Collective (™) are.  We thought, “What could possibly go wrong?”

There’s no need to follow that particular trip down Memory Lane, especially since we’re all essentially those kids at the end of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  Some of our pre-COVID goals, however, are totally worth revisiting.  

I’ll go first.

I remember I had this wild idea to do a monthly post on doing a gratitude journal activity and spell back in November, 2019.  My OG’s may recall I did just that in January 2020 and February 2020.  March came along and all of a sudden, it seemed a little fucked up and tone deaf to extol the virtues of gratitude when so many people were realizing that they were in quicksand.  We the Collective (™) had perfectly legit reasons to be in hypervigilant survival mode.  Standing on Mount Olympus and issuing a decree that thou shalt all be grateful felt like some bullshit Law of Attraction way of saying, “Let them eat cake.”

So I let the year play out, thinking things would get better.  

I waited…  and waited…  and waited…  

After wondering if this was why psychics don’t win the lottery more than non intuitives, I started wondering what would actually make a difference.    I continued to do the tarot things, but mixed in a little basic CBT, common sense, numerology, and those weekly self-help chats that you may or may not hate.  I wrote for Psych2Go.  I did what I knew to do, but a couple concepts kept bubbling back up—gratitude and stoicism.  These monthly gratitude spells are going to get pretty stoic, so that will explain itself over time.  But let’s talk a little about why a monthly gratitude ritual and why I prefer it over those bullshit November gratitude lists.  (In the name of not repeating myself, please see my reasons for hating social media #gratitudechallenges right here.  And, yes, I do question your motives if you do one of those challenges.)

(P.S.  THIS is the best explanation I’ve found for why psychics can’t often predict lottery numbers.) 

The Cons and Pros of Gratitude Lists

I know you’re used to seeing “pros and cons,” rather than “cons and pros.”  We like to start with the positive.  However, starting with the cons in this case sets the tone for what I am asking you to do.  So let’s take a quick look at the downside of gratitude lists:

  • They breed entitlement.  More on this later.
  • They can be a petri dish for performative mental health.  Y’all ever heard of toxic positivity?  In case you haven’t, toxic positivity is the belief that a positive mindset can bail you out of or help you tolerate anything—even if that anything is a natural disaster, making an abusive relationship work, staying in a toxic job, a chronic mental health condition, or something else that represents how bad the world can actually be.  SPOILER ALERT: Sometimes thinking happy thoughts doesn’t make bad situations go away.  Sometimes your dark places are actually a sign that you should seek professional help in some capacity.  Sometimes your mind doesn’t control others’ actions.  Examples of toxic positivity include: cult mentality; those “good vibes only” people; gurus who charge thousands of dollars for “life-changing” courses that blame you for not being able to shift a situation you didn’t fully understand; the IRL Negative Nancy who only posts Bible passages and inspirational quotes on Facebook or Twitter; Mascara People (™) who run at the first sight of any emotion darker than stark white; and that shady bitch who posts “No More Hate” online, when they’re probably the one who stirred the pot with their shit-talking in the first place.  One of the biggest running themes in that list is a general lack of empathy.  Good vibes only, my ass.    
  • They are often used as a way to belittle others.  Have you ever read one of those #gratefulnothateful posts and felt it was a little pointed?  Your spidey sense could be onto something.  There’s this oft-quoted phrase, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, that describes the mindset.  Why come out and be the Positivity Police, when you can shame people without making yourself look like the bad guy?  Pointy and shady posts about #gratitude check off this box by getting you positive attention for covertly using a point of shame against someone you claim to love.  Congratulations.  You have just won the Gold Medal in the Cowardly Passive-Aggressive Asshole Olympics.  I’d love to say that I respect you, buuuttt…  Being genuinely grateful is a powerful, humbling feeling.  This is the kind of humbling power that you might not immediately share on social media.  That said, the best thing to do is to check your motives before you make that eye roll-inducing gratitude post.  Are you merely following the herd?  Are you trying to make a point about how negative everyone else in your circle is?  (If all of your loved ones are such insufferable acid rain clouds, why are you hanging out with them?  Do you somehow think you’re doing a good deed by gracing people who are beneath you with your presence?  If so, please rethink your motives.)  Why do you need a gaggle of social media friends to know how overwhelmingly humble and positive you are?  Why do you need attention for being a ray of sunshine right now?  Are you trying to make your life look better than it is, or better than someone else’s?  Only you can answer these questions, but they are worth asking yourself.
  • They feed into the bullshit surrounding the concept of manifestation.  This is a point that illustrates the first point, which I said I’d address later.  It’s later.  Ruthlessly co-opted from ancient alchemy principles, manifestation has come to be Western White Lady Code (™) for becoming business partners with the universe.  If you follow these five basic principles—Be Specific, Ask the Universe, Believe in the Universe, Receive and Take Inspired Action, and Be Grateful—you can ASK, RECEIVE, AND BELIEVE your way to unimaginable wealth, love, happiness, and living your dream.  Rhonda Byrne has 100 million reasons to believe The Secret works.  Back in the day, Napoleon Hill had a million reasons why you should Think and Grow Rich.  Hill was also known to be a phony asshole who was only in it for a quick buck, so there’s that.  Other than making millions of dollars for broken healers with an ounce of charisma, is there anything to manifestation?  The quick answer is: only if you’re realistic, willing to put in work, and not in it for shitty puppet master reasons.  The main point that the LOA types, most of the mental health community, stoics, and I agree on is your mind—specifically your thoughts and feelings about your circumstances—determines how you experience your reality.  Where the mental health community, stoics, and I tend to divert from the path is the point where those LOA bullshit gurus start blaming you and your lack of belief for their program not working.  This uber convenient victim-blaming does not take into account things like mental illness, symptoms of trauma, natural disasters, and other shit that they believe your subconscious and the Universe conveniently see fit to spring on you.  Oh wait…  The LOA types believe the Universe is here to give you a blank check and lessons in the form of “obstacles,” but adversity and true disasters?  That’s on you, Boo Boo.  These toxically positive LOA gurus can tell you how to manifest by believing enough (and shelling out your cash for their merch), but they don’t get too deep when it comes to actually coping and overcoming core issues.  (The core issues that they ultimately blame on you.)  I’ll probably expound on this as I talk about how stoicism can help with intuition in the future, but Dr. Ramani posted this wonderful explanation of why you should take those Law of Attraction peddlers with a small Siberian salt mine:

If a gratitude practice can lead you down the path of being a delusional, “good vibes only” piece of excrement, why would I suggest you do this?

Reasons to do a Gratitude Spell:

But I need to lay down a few ground rules…

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

  • First, don’t post this online.  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:

If you were looking to use a monthly gratitude practice 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 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.  I keep going back to this one, but look around for ones that work for you.
  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 #1: 2020

  1.  What are three negative words you would use to describe 2020?
  2. What are three positive words you would use to describe 2020?
  3. What was something challenging or negative that happened to you personally (not the world) in 2020? 
  4. What were the biggest challenges, obstacles, or inconveniences about this situation for you?
  5. What were three thoughts you had about this situation?
  6. What were three feelings you had about this situation?
  7. What did you learn about others as a result of this situation?
  8. What did you learn about yourself as a result of this situation?
  9. How did you handle this situation?  What is one thing about the way you handled it that you are proud of?
  10. How did this situation pleasantly surprise you?
  11. Based on your answers to these questions, what are at least three about you that you are grateful for?
  12. Based on your answers to these questions, what are at least three reasons you are grateful that 2020 happened?

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: 1/26/2021 – 2/2/2021

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.  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.

This has been one of those months where I’ve truly given myself burnout by watching the news.  After hearing about Republican senators bringing guns into government buildings, National Institute of Mental Health seminars on anxiety, and theories about the future of COVID-19, my frontal lobe was leaking out of my nose.  I thought my index finger developed arthritis, but no.  It was threatening to jump off my hand so I wouldn’t click on yet another mind-numbing article.  My whole hand slapped me when I threatened to go on Twitter.

I needed some comedy, so I checked out the CBC Comedy Channel on YouTube.  Here was the first video I found:

Yeah, I’m probably the last person who needs to be told how much social media sucks.  This video gave me a lot to think about, though.  Here were some of my thoughts:

Then I learned Uranus plopped itself smack-dab in the middle of the upcoming retrograde.  Yeah, this week ends with the first Mercury retrograde of 2021.  So between Uranus moving in direct view of the Sun and Mercury moving backwards through quirky Aquarius, here’s what you can expect:

  • That nagging feeling that you need to start caring about something beyond yourself and getting likes.
  • Your personal truth getting in your face and screaming, “I’M NOT GOING TO BE IGNORED, DAN!!”
  • The strong urge to commit to the goals you were saving for someday.
  • Random insights on turning pain into personal power.
  • Being forced to get over yourself and accept change.
  • Increased creativity and self-expression.
  • Being very aware of—and rather irritated by—the hubris, vanity, and selfishness of others.
  • Others compensating for their insecurities may smell like zombie poop.
  • You might get the strong urge to do weekly technology breaks.  (Please do.)
  • Putting your foot in your mouth way more often.
  • Universal feedback in the form of explosive fuck ups.
  • Delays that force you to focus on things that are more important.

The outcome of the next month will either be a version of you that feels realigned and focused, or like you’ve been stuck in some cosmic spin cycle.  This may be a great time to ask yourself:

  • Exactly how much time am I wasting online?
  • How much time am I spending chasing goals that no longer reflect who I am?
  • What are some projects that I feel guilty about putting off?  How can I take even one small action step towards them?
  • Who is the person triggering me and what about them is especially irksome?
  • Where in my life am I skating around the truth?  Why do I feel the need to do this in these particular situations?
  • Where in my life am I pretending to be more positive, smarter, more attractive, wealthier, more together, more organized, less bothered, more compassionate, tougher, braver, or just more than I really am?  Why do I need others to have this idealized view of me?  What am I trying to get others to feel or think when I do this?
  • What am I afraid will happen if I stop trying so hard to control my image?  How am I giving away my power by trying to control my image?
  • Did I speak more than I listened, or did I listen more than I spoke today?
  • What are some things in my life that I am resisting?
  • When have the delays and disappointments in my life led me to better outcomes?
  • How would I explain my social media posts to a small impressionable child?
  • If I could spend time with only three people this week, who would I choose to see?  Am I showing these people that they are a high priority?
  • If I could spend time doing only three nonessential things this week, what would I choose to do?  How can I make more time for these things?
  • Before I say, post, or text this, what exactly do I want to communicate with the other person/people?  Is what I’m about to say, post, or text reflecting that message?

Now shake all of that off with a little Deepak Chopra:

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 1/26/2021 – 2/2/2021 and I got:  Three of Wands (number 3, profitable business ventures, offers from far away, possibly travel, opportunities for growth, and success); Seven of Cups (number 7, possible intoxication, not being able to see all of one’s options clearly, confusion, the need to make a choice, and the need to give oneself time before making a decision); Ace of Cups (number 1 or 11, love, emotional contentment, happiness, the energy of love, a new relationship, and possibly getting what one wants); and Seven of Swords (number 7, deception, being two-faced, mind games, a warning against hasty decisions, schemes or manipulations that will not work, covering one’s tracks, impulsivity, possibly avoiding the truth, and possibly the need to do some detective work).  The first theme that jumps out at me is a big ol’ red flag.  We have two Sevens—the Seven of Cups and the Seven of Swords—which tells me this whole spread is going to be painted with major 7 energy.  In numerology, 7 energy is the energy of keen intuition, the collective unconscious, science, writing, learning, alchemy, and spiritual awakening.  So let’s combine this degunking of the Third Eye with the meanings of the Seven of Cups and Seven of Swords, shall we?  The Seven of Cups usually makes an appearance when someone has a bit of an alcohol, porn, or pill problem.  It is the card of intoxication to the point of confusion.  Right off the bat, the Seven of Cups tells me the success indicated by the Three of Wands and Ace of Cups may also target any emotional confusion you’ve been having.  The Seven of Swords is my two-faced, politician mother fucker of a snake card.  One of our sevens signifies confusion and indecision (Cups), while the other seven talks about skirting the real issues and someone looking to take advantage of that confusion.  Then we need to factor in the overarching 7 energy of this spread.  All of these factors together tells me this is not the week to make emotional decisions, try to manipulate your way out of something, or listen to people who are overly flattering.  As a matter of fact, this is a good week to avoid social media echo chambers, anyone in your circle who likes to talk shit about others, people who ask you too many questions about yourself, people who don’t know the difference between constructive criticism and trolling, and people who seem too good to be true.  The psychic energy surrounding this week tells me you will probably get a heads up about any of this, but whether you listen to your intuition is entirely up to you.  The other two cards in this spread—the Three of Wands and Ace of Cups—tell me you may not listen.  The Three of Wands is a card that indicates a recent venture of yours has paid off or is hitting a major growth spurt.  The Three also shows me you’re considering new possibilities and looking for ways to expand your horizons, usually in ways that pertain to travel, business, and finance.  This may also be a week where you consider a new side hustle.  If that’s the case, please consider the warning of the Sevens.  There may be a person or entity looking to take advantage of your situation.  Beware of making hasty decisions or decisions based on strong emotion (i.e. happiness, love, anger, or anxiety).  Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.  The Ace of Cups is a card of strong happiness, like the energy you get from a new romantic relationship.  In a spread with the Seven of Cups, the Ace amplifies the feeling of being intoxicated by a strong emotion.  This brings up another possibility when dealing with the Seven of Swords.  Although none of the cards in this spread expressly talk about jealousy, the Seven of Swords might involve getting dirt on someone to use later.  The feeling around this is someone who sees that you’re happy, feels triggered by it, and then decides to bring you down by gathering intel.  I also feel like you would see this coming a mile away if it weren’t for whatever confusion is going on with you lately.  Another possible meaning is a little more sinister.  On one hand, we have cards that indicate growth, possibility, and happiness (the Three of Wands and Ace of Cups).  Great news, right?  Then we have those doubt-inducing Sevens.  We have Seven of Cups (confusion) and Seven of Wands (mind games).  To make a long story longer, this could be about the ways in which you play mind games with yourself.  This might be the week for you to be mindful of:

  • Self-sabotage
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what others will say or do
  • Self-punishment
  • Negative self-talk

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!

Fortuna Spell: New Moon

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.

Does anyone remember the beginning of 2020?  Pre-corona 2020, when we felt all the optimism of the new year?  

Betcha you had some resolutions.  Maybe you resolved to go to the gym every other day.  Perhaps you wanted to read at least 100 books during the year.  Were you thinking this would be your year for a career change?  Did you think you would improve your overall mental health by getting out more?  Or maybe your resolution was as simple as flossing your barnacle-encrusted teeth.

Remember how we all kept it as normal as possible as we started hearing about this thing called COVID-19?  

It’s no big deal, many of us thought, Let’s just wash our hands, mask up, and don’t make unnecessary trips… Oh, and let’s get some toilet paper.

Others of us thought, Oh helllll NO!!  This whole thing is a hoax.  Big Brother wants to microchip us with an enema and take away our rights.  Mask this, bitches!!!

Either way, most of us thought this would be over in a couple months and the truth would be revealed.  And then Fate pumped the brakes.  We started blaming each other.  We pointed fingers at the government.  The rich blamed the poor for not being prepared enough.  The poor blamed the rich for hogging the resources.  Trump blamed the Chinese.  Trump’s followers blamed the Democrats.  We blamed the virus.  We blamed the cosmos.

We looked at everything but ourselves.

I guess that makes sense, since the fucking cesspool that is social media incubates narcissism and quarantine has been making us all nuttier than squirrel shit.  Most of us—including and especially me—had a difficult time keeping to a schedule because nothing was normal.  Meanwhile, the constant centrifuge that has been our pandemic lives did not change the fact that we had bills to pay, things to do, and families of varying species depending on us.  The struggle to keep things halfway predictable was gargantuan and real.  The problem with that is all of the emphasis on social media, social isolation, and the ground constantly shifting made us fucking horrible at thinking rationally, critically, and for ourselves.  

It was as if some jerk rolled out the red carpet for all of our shadow selves to run amok.  

The succinct definition of the shadow self is your dark side.  A lengthier explanation is the shadow self was Carl Jung’s way of describing those parts of yourself that you can’t explain, fill you with shame, and will go to any lengths to push down.  

You know how I keep shaking my head and accusing those begging for healing of just sweeping shit under the rug?  It’s because these panicked calls for forced civility are happening because those panicking can’t handle their own dark impulses.  Not only can they not handle their own negativity, but they are incredibly fucking triggered by others’ emotions.  I feel like it should be called the Nam-ASS-te Principle because the asshole in me not only recognizes the asshole in you, but also wants to chain it to the radiator.  Here’s a quick run-down of how it works:

  1.  You see something that offends, angers, or otherwise makes you emotional in a way that you can’t immediately explain.
  2. Your subconscious mind recognizes the offensive stimulus as an emotion, thought, belief, or behavior that you secretly resonate with or have.
  3. Your conscious mind will hear none of that fuckery, as the offensive stimulus contradicts your self-image and makes you look like a big ol’ hypocrite.
  4. Your conscious mind decides the best course of action is to freak out at the offensive stimulus until you no longer feel like a big ol’ hypocrite.  Take that, offensive stimulus!!
  5. You don’t have to change the way you see yourself or think about the offensive stimulus ever again…  until the next time something beyond your fucks with your shadow self.

There are many reasons we get triggered, but they all boil down to not wanting to feel pain or look at a part of ourselves that makes us feel uncomfortable or ashamed.  For example, a mother who was severely abused as a child may find that her baby’s cries send her through the roof.  The man who not only has 30 years sober, but scraped his way to success may find the heroin addict with 12 hours of sobriety whiny and entitled.  The down low Trump-loving Karen with enough self-awareness to know her racism probably won’t be well-received might call for healing because everyone else’s anger makes her think about how other people would never see her the same way if they knew how she really felt.  

Know who else can’t handle others’ emotions?  People with narcissistic tendencies.  This makes perfect sense, if you think about it.  Being able to tolerate others’ emotional expression requires an ability to feel empathy for that person.  True empathy takes a willingness to look at yourself objectively, even the stuff that makes you look like an ass hat.  Narcissists actively avoid anything that makes them look like wusses, hypocrites, or anything that denounces their carefully curated self-image.  Think about an Instagram profile, personified.  (Please circle back to my assertion that social media is a fucking cesspool that rewards our narcissistic tendencies because I’m too tired to repeat myself.)  

Now consider this: the way out of the burning building is to navigate your way through the fire.  The only way to make sure the shadow self cannot fuck with you is to take a look at yourself.  Richard Grannon makes a good case for it here:

And his eyebrow-raising amuses me to no end.

Using “the way out is the way through” logic, how do we deal with triggers we want to blame on the hand we were dealt?  By having a conversation with fate, of course.

Enter Fortuna

Ancient Romans considered goddess Fortuna (or Tyche in Greek mythology) a major player when it came to fate, destiny, and luck—both good and bad.  Fortuna was such a big deal that the empire erected multiple temples in her honor, as well as designated June 11 as her feast day.  The ancients believed partaking in her feast days and making offerings at her temple could persuade Fortuna to make and multiply fortunes, improve crops and harvests, and make sure enemies turned into bumbling keystone cops.  Jupiter’s daughter was really a great one to have on your side.

But obtaining Fortuna’s blessings wasn’t the only reason Ancient Romans bent over backwards to kiss her ass.

Fortuna represents good and bad fortune, as well as fate.  This means you may be a little screwed if you piss her off or if she likes you too much.  If you’re a little perplexed as to what this means, think about this: Would you rather be completely destitute and invisible, or so famous and powerful that everyone is out to get you?  Would you rather have everything you touch turn to shit, or would you rather have to constantly fight backstabbing snakes to stay powerful?  

Dealing with Fortuna isn’t as simple as putting millions in Monopoly money on a vision board and chanting some nonsense from Think and Grow Rich or The Secret.  When Fortuna takes an interest in you, she dares you to explore your dark side and take an honest look at what in your life needs to leave.  Fortuna has the power to bestow incredible gifts, but this same power can reduce you to rubble if you don’t listen to her or if you choose to act like an ingrate.  This ability to increase and reverse fortunes on a whim is a huge part of the reason Miss Thang is so strongly associated with the Wheel of Fortune in the tarot.  

Although there’s no way that I would work with Fortuna for foo-foo manifestation rituals, this badass goddess is a fantastic ally if you:

  • Are willing to put real work into changing your life.
  • Want to remove the obstacles that prevent you from taking charge of your life.
  • Need to do a little clearing.
  • Want to get rid of stale energy, old patterns, and stuff that’s just kinda there.
  • Are ready to feel the discomfort of doing true shadow work.
  • Need help navigating instability.
  • Are ready to stop getting in your own way.
  • Are willing to take criticism to gain something greater.
  • Are ready to take a leap of faith, even if you don’t have a clear picture of where you want to land.
  • Want to protect your marriage (she has a soft spot for married women).
  • Want to get healthier and are willing to change your lifestyle.

Do NOT work with Fortuna if:

  • You are set in your ways.
  • You’re looking for a quick fix or fast luck.
  • You don’t want to be made uncomfortable.
  • Now is not the time for uncertainty.
  • You’re in the precontemplation or contemplation stage of change.
  • You feel like you have a lot to lose.
  • You’re a procrastinator.
  • You’re not willing to show gratitude or help those less fortunate.

Fortuna sees any blessings she bestows on you as a gift.  She also believes not accepting or appreciating her gifts is the ultimate sin.  Therefore, Fortuna can be fickle and temperamental.  Here are some of the best ways to approach Fortuna:

  • Be humble and understand that your luck can always change.
  • Keep a gratitude list, as she sees this as a running thank you note.
  • Be willing to share the gifts she gives you with others.
  • Plant a garden and tend to it.
  • Avoid acting entitled, envious, greedy, or ungrateful.
  • Take at least one small step towards your goal and/or to take care of what you have been given each day.
  • Clean your house at least 10 minutes a day.
  • Avoid making demands or being too specific with her.
  • Take extra care of any gifts or blessings she gives you.

Due to the clearing nature of this spell, I suggest you do it the week of the new moon.  The new moon is all about clearing out the old, changing patterns, and starting something new.  This is the perfect time to ask Fortuna to get rid of stale energy.

If you choose to work with Fortuna during the new moon—or any moon—check out this list of things Fortuna likes (all Etsy and Magick Planet listings are affiliate links):

(NOTE: I became an Etsy affiliate because I’ve been a long time Etsy shopper.  Many of my ritual supplies come from Etsy because I feel like they have products that are made with love, for a fair price.  I am also a Magick Planet affiliate because I love their products, service, and prices.  It would be lovely if you clicked my links, but do what calls to you.)

***If you want a more nuanced view of what it’s like to work with Fortuna, then please check out G.G. MacLeod’s Augusta series. Yeah, I know. But this is more than just a shameless plug, as MacLeod has personally worked extensively worked with Fortuna, had to research her for his novels, and gave me several hints on working with Fortuna.

The Spell

What You Need:

  1.  A green pillar candle, novena candle, or candle made specifically for Fotuna.  I also like to buy my candles at Dragon Marsh and Panhalla Esoteric (not sponsored).
  2. Incense (use frankincense, cedar, rue, lavender, or a blend, made just for Fortuna).
  3. A trinket that reminds you of Fortuna (think Wheel of Fortune tarot stuff, jewelry, cornucopia vases, and things with stalks of wheat on them).
  4. Anointing oil (use bergamot, frankincense, lavender, or a blend made especially for Fortuna).
  5. Food and drink offering (she likes small cakes, apple cider, white wine, or honey mead).
  6. About a half hour of your time for at least a week, no longer than a month at a time.
  7. A journal and pen.
  8. About 10 minutes a day to clear some clutter from your home.  The symbolic act of clearing a tiny bit a day has a profound effect on the psyche.

What You Will Do:

  1.  Clear your head for about 5 or 10 minutes before you begin.  I suggest using a simple mindfulness meditation, such as the ones on the Stop, Breathe, Think app or this video.
  2. Anoint your candle with your oil.  As you do, imagine yourself sending a thank you note to Fortuna for her time. 
  3. Light your candle and your incense.  As you do this, thank Fortuna for her time and her help.  You can repeat this invocation three times:  “I invoke the grace of Fortuna, which fills this space with light.  Light dissolves all darkness.  I thank you, Fortuna, for lending me your grace, light, energy, magic, inspiration, and inner power.”
  4. Meditate on what clearing means for you today.  Maybe you get an image of your cluttered table, or a habit you can’t seem to break.  Whatever comes up, visualize it being wrapped in a silver and gold bubble and being sent to Fortuna.
  5. Find an invocation to Fortuna that you like and repeat it up to three times.  I like to combine the invocation from this blog and this short call for luck.  Here’s what that combo looks like:  Come Fortuna, with strong propitious mind and rich abundance, to my prayer inclined.  Placid and gentle trivia, mightily named, Imperial Artemis, born of Eubouleus famed.  Mankind’s unconquered, endless praise is thine, sepulchral, widely -wandering power divine!  In thee, our various mortal life is found, and some from you copious wealth abounds.  While others mourn thy hand averse to bless, in all the bitterness of deep distress.  Be present, goddess, to we who worship you, and give abundance with benignant mind.  Oh Fortuna!  Lady Luck, come to me.  Goddess of Fate, Goddess of Fortune, I call upon thee.  Come to me!  Enter my circle, bless my circle with life and your magic touch.  Bless me with luck and fortune.  Great Goddess Fortuna, I invoke thee!
  6. State your case to Fortuna.  Tell her how she can help you with your request, but please remember your manners and that she does not owe you anything.
  7. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel whatever comes to the surface for you.  You can even do some freewriting in your journal.  Once you are ready, see all of your requests being taken to Fortuna in that same gold and silver bubble from Step 4.
  8. Close out the circle in whatever way works best for you.  Just be sure to emphasize your gratitude for the goddess’s time and invite her to take your offering.
  9. Be sure to journal any stray inspirations or thoughts during this entire time.  You’ll start to notice a pattern in a week or so.

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: 1/13/21 – 1/20/21

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 had something planned about this week’s new moon in Capricorn, buuuutttt my plans got a bit hijacked by the Y’all Quaeda’s Washington D.C. coup.  Yeah, an American President inspired a treasonous act that allegedly sought to overturn the results of a fair election by by kidnapping and murder, if necessary.  What’s even more surprising is the Vanilla Isis has the support of approximately 19% of Americans.  Here are a couple things that don’t surprise me in the least:

  1.  Social media continues to be a fucking cesspool.
  2. Haughty conservatives (usually women) are demanding that we come together and understand so that we can heal.

You want me to understand?  Huh.  Okay.  Explain yourself for all of the half-truths you posted about Black Lives Matter protesters.  Then maybe you can use your #AllLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter logic to help the officers who were overrun to understand and heal.  Speaking of understanding, where was your compassion when protests that began far more peacefully elicited a more militant response from the government?  Tell me all about your empathy when you continued to support Trump.   When you ask us to understand, does this mean you will actually try to comprehend why the other side feels the way they do, or does this mean you will get that self-satisfied smirk on your face and reiterate that “unlike those other media outlets,” you choose to see all the good that Trump has done?

Hopefully you can pardon my cynicism when I say that your call for understanding is actually a call to sweep shit under the rug.  Your call for understanding is you demanding that nobody call you on whatever the fuck drove you to back this administration, thereby enabling the events of January 6th to occur.  Yes, Arnold was absolutely correct when he said people who supported Trump were just going along with the crowd.  Hell, people on the far left are probably doing the same thing.  But does that make any of you correct?  Before you blindly post Arnold’s video and get on your high horse about understanding and healing, understand this:  the Terminator also made it abundantly clear that the former Nazis who had to assimilate into post-war life often abused their families.  In fact, it happened so frequently that it was considered normal.

Does that make it fucking right?  

Before you demand that others understand you so that you can go on thinking you’re some good and righteous specimen, why don’t you try a little self-reflection?  Do you understand why you backed a rabid horse?  Do you have a firm grasp on why you sent passive-aggressive and hateful emails to your friends, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, et al who believe differently than you?  Do you comprehend why pure outrage and blind hate would overtake you to the point that you spread things you couldn’t be bothered to research online?  What did you think you were getting out of the position you took?  What did you gain by treating your loved ones like garbage?  What the fuck do you think makes you so special that others are automatically wrong?

Until you understand those things, please do not ask for the absolution of those who may have been hurt by you.

Until you understand those things, please don’t demand that others understand you.

Until you understand those things, you’re still carrying the shitty anger and abusive tendencies that led you here.

Until you understand those things, you’re not healing anything.

Those of you who feel entitled to understanding before you bother to understand, know this: you were our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, coworkers, friends, teachers, and neighbors.  We may have depended on you.  We may have trusted you.  We may have loved you.  Before you demand our understanding so that you can feel like a good person, maybe you should understand how your actions may have impacted everyone else over the last four years.

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 1/13/21 – 1/20/21 and I got:  The Princess of Wands (young fire sign person, initiative, drive, new creative projects, surge of creativity, planting the seed for future endeavors, and a new venture); the Hight Priestess (number 2, stillness, intuition, the desire to develop intuition, an opportunity to become more self-sufficient, look within for answers, and using one’s downtime constructively); the Magician (number 1, important communication, letters or messages, clear vision for the future, knowing what one needs, confidence, manifestation, skill, possibly manipulation or the trickster, and thinking things through logically); and the Princess of Swords (young air sign person, gossip, someone with a lot to say, someone with a quick mind, possibly new contracts, new information, and someone who should be heard).  Huh.  We’re only on Week 3 of 2021 and there seems to be a pattern emerging.  I don’t know how long this will go on, but the readings are building on each other.  We don’t have a clear numerical theme,  but we do have two Major Arcana cards sandwiched between two Princess cards.  Major Arcana cards signify themes that scream so loud for our attention, that they may as well be doing an impression of Trump before Twitter took away his binky.  Princess or Page cards usually indicate a young person or the start of something.  Even before we get into the meanings, the types of cards and how they’re placed tells me you are going to have an idea or two that is worth pursuing, if you get the fuck out of your own way and stop listening to others.  This spread starts with the enthusiastic, energetic Princess of Wands.  She is a card of wonder and creativity.  This card has a crazy idea and thinks, “Why the fuck not?”  But maybe in more family-friendly words.  The creative energy around the Princess of Wands is vibrant, fun, and usually kinda loud.  This huge swell of inspiration is simultaneously supported and tempered by the High Priestess.  The High Priestess has a cooler, wait-and-see vibe.  This card is all about going within for answers and waiting patiently for divine wisdom.  When combined with the full steam ahead optimism of the Princess of Wands, we have a message to balance your energy and write down your stray ideas.  I feel like the High Priestess is also a warning against excitedly telling everyone you encounter about your genius, as the High Priestess often appears to tell us, “Kindly shut your face.”  This silence is for our own good, as you won’t get the answers you need right now if you keep flapping your gums or engage in empty socialization.  The High Priestess is telling you that you may want to keep to yourself and tend to your inner world by meditation, prayer, spell work, etc.  The seeming duality of the first two cards is then met with the Magician, which is potentially a card of manifestation.  Not only will you have the inspiration, but you’ll be makin’ moves, baby.  But I did say the Magician is potentially a card of manifestation.  There are a couple other facets to the Magician.  This card is also a trickster card and potentially the card of a con man.  Remember how the High Priestess wanted you to shut up and observe?  The Magician is not only a sign that your idea is something you should pursue, but also a sign that others will want to steal it or sabotage you.  The High Priestess and the Magician are the male and female aspect of alchemy.  They’re right next to each other in this spread, which tells me you will need to blend action and inspiration.  Just keep your grand schemes to yourself.  Another facet of the Magician is communication, which is why this card is often associated with the sign of Gemini, or the chatterbox of the zodiac.  The Magician is a card of important emails, texts, and any other form of electronic communication.  This aspect of the Magician is further supported by the Princess of Swords, who is a chatty little thing herself.  You know that kid who is super smart, but can’t stop talking?  The one you always bet against when it’s time to play the quiet game?  This kid is usually so talkative and hyper because they are incredibly observant, intelligent, and don’t have the social skills or experience to know that not everyone likes to hear the truth.  That’s our Princess of Swords, only she tends to signify gossip, racing thoughts, and contracts.  Remember how I told you last week that bullshit would smell like bullshit and that super sketchy person in your life would make their intentions known?  I feel like you will get more confirmation that this person should be cut like gangrene.  The Princess of Swords tells me this confirmation will come out in a #NoFilter almost Asperger’s sort of way.  If this confirmation comes in a conversation, don’t expect it to be from the snake themselves.  Expect it to be from someone who has no idea what the snake’s true agenda is.  This goes back to the energy created by the union between the High Priestess and the Magician.  Don’t say anything in the moment, but use it as inspiration to do your own thing.  If this confirmation comes from something other than innocent gossip, take note of how you heard it and use it as inspiration.  The Magician next to the Princess of Swords means you may have to be diplomatic this week, as you don’t know how others will decide to twist what you have to say.  The Princess of Swords concluding this spread means that you will be able to communicate your ideas when the time is right, but your week is better spent getting your shit together.

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: 12/30/20 – 1/5/21 and 1/6/21 – 1/13/21

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 am a little tired of people saying good riddance to 2020.  You probably shouldn’t keep mentioning the demon by name if you don’t want to invite it to tea.  

*ahem* Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, I think it’s the blind optimism that kills me.  Haven’t we fucked ourselves enough with our little orphan Annie nonsense?  Apparently not.  Yet we persist just thinkin’ about to-morrow when the Saturn – Jupiter conjunction has been all over the news.  This article does a great job of explaining the conjunction from an objective, cosmology point of view.  However, I think this video explains why we should care on a more personal and energetic level:

I’m totally showing my age here, but I keep hearing Camouflage’s The Great Commandment when someone says “the grand conjunction.”  That song might be an accurate reference, considering how big of an impact this astrological event will have on our mindset.  I also find the lyrics prescient because the U.S. is being presented with an opportunity to either learn something from their fucked up, jingoist history or ride another wave of politically-generated emotion to who fucking knows where.  On a global level, COVID-19, our collective pandemic fatigue, and the anti-masker assholes who are ruining it for the rest of us are giving certain international financial entities an excuse to usher in the Great Reset.  And the members of Camouflage were serious eye candy back in the day.  Don’t judge me.

Pardon my wee digression.

All 12 astrological signs are going to get their own special dose of this energetic medicine, but all of us can expect:

  • Karmic returns (good and bad)
  • To feel a little claustrophobic
  • A few truth bombs to detonate
  • Clarity on whatever needs to happen next for us
  • Spiritual growth
  • More emphasis on our individual paths
  • No longer being able to sweep shit under the rug
  • No longer having the patience to carry others’ baggage

I don’t have the energy to get too deep, but now might be a great time to ask yourself:

  • What does freedom mean to me?
  • Where in my life do I feel restricted?  
  • What part of my restrictions are in my control?
  • What are some parts of my life that I’d rather not look at?
  • What are some of the relationships I hold onto out of habit?
  • What are the things in my life that are just taking up space?
  • How am I covering for others or enabling them?
  • Where in my life am I being lazy, spiteful, or overly emotional?
  • How am I being closed-minded?
  • Where in my life am I being judgmental?
  • Where am I being too rigid in my thinking, feelings, or physically?

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 12/29/20 – 1/5/21 and I got:  Seven of Wands (number 7, success after being challenged, the need to defend oneself or one’s convictions, knowing one’s rights, being nobody’s fool, and protecting oneself against opportunists); the Moon (number 18, moodiness, psychic insight, gaining wisdom from dreams, the need to go inward, feeling triggered, an opportunity to understand one’s emotional triggers, issues with one’s mother, and creativity); the Hermit (number 9, the need to be alone, seeking guidance from within, perhaps social isolation, the need to do some inner work, turning one’s back on materialism or the physical world, answers will come, and preparing for a major change); and Queen of Swords (air sign female, someone who uses words harshly, an objective friend, good advice, candor, someone cold due to emotional wounds, an independent person, and a friend who offers straight answers).  Although there is no clear numerical theme here, there are a couple other leitmotifs getting in my face and screaming.  (Note to the leitmotifs: get some breath mints.)  The first major thing I notice is half of this spread is Major Arcana cards (the Moon and the Hermit).  These two cards speak to a couple similar things: intuitive messages and the need to withdraw from others in order to get those messages.  This might be a good week to go on a social media break or a detox from family, especially because the Moon sometimes refers to emotional triggers and moodiness. You’re probably going to be too sensitive to engage this week, which is a good indicator that you need to sort out your thoughts.  I feel like the Moon and the Hermit are asking you to take this week as an opportunity to process an emotional trigger that has been at the center of some serious self-sabotage (i.e. procrastination, playing it small, overreacting to certain people in your life, not speaking up for yourself, etc).  The type of moodiness signified by the Moon can be due to physical or hormonal causes as much as it can be a product of old emotional wounds.  Pay as much attention to your food sensitivities as you do to your dreams, as they’re both likely to be a bit weird.  This spread starts with the Seven of Wands and ends with the Queen of Swords, which brings me to the next running theme.  You will see right through anyone who tries to fuck with you, which might be why you’re better off alone this week.  There is also a defensive vibe to these two cards, which tells me you might be on the receiving end of a painful truth.  If someone’s words cut you to the core and don’t feel like a pile of gaslighting shit, consider taking a step back and parsing the objective truth from your hurt feelings.  I feel like said painful truth might be the subject of your weird dreams, so feel free to browse Aunty Flo’s online dream dictionary here.  The Queen of Swords and the Moon in the same spread suggest some serious mother wound fuckery.  If your Mommy Dearest doesn’t show up in person, expect to run into someone who has her special brand of insanity.  If your mom was halfway cool, you’re a fucking unicorn  expect a fairly unemotive person to nonchalantly expose one of your insecurities.  It’s all good no matter how it comes about because the Seven of Wands tells me you’ve worked hard and made a lot of progress.  Think of the weirdness as another chance to flex your self-improvement muscles.

I asked the cards what we need to know about 1/6/21 – 1/13/21 and I got:  The World (number 21, natural ending to a cycle, ultimate success, endings that lead to new beginnings, resolutions, finishing a project, and being okay with an outcome); Ace of Swords (number 1 or 11, cutting away the unnecessary, putting an end to bullshit, clearing karma, getting to the real issues, learning the truth, mental clarity, and logical decisions); Eight of Swords (number 8, mental bondage, playing the victim, keeping oneself enslaved, the need to find a creative solution, and having to choose whether one will face reality); Four of Swords (number 4, the need to take a break, recuperating from an illness, hiatus, retreating from the world, the need to reconcile an old issue, and the need to pause for a solution).  Woof.  To say this week is going to be intense is a bit of an understatement.  Just a bit.  This spread starts with a Major Arcana card (the World), then punctuates this energy with three Swords cards.  The World is one of the more positive cards that signifies an ending, but it’s an ending nonetheless.  The theme of things coming to an end is supported with the Ace of Swords, which signifies cutting away unnecessary behaviors, patterns, karma, relationships, and word salad.  In terms of relationships, these two cards point to that friend, relative, lover, coworker, etc who may or may not be a snake.  They always fly just far enough under the radar that you think maybe, juuuussssttt maaayyybbbeee, you might be wrong or crazy.  Maybe they’re a relative.  Maybe you guys have shared some good times.  Perhaps you need to make nice because they’re a coworker.  Or maybe they’re freakin’ hot and quarantine’s got you lonely.  Despite your misgivings, you have your reasons to make nice to them.  If it’s not a person, you will definitely be dealing with a situation you’ve been hanging onto out of some crazy notion that you need it or it will be useful to you in the future. Until now.  I feel like the World next to the Ace signifies some pretty solid evidence that it might be better to either walk away or emotionally detach.  This smoking gun is most likely going to come in the form of a conversation you weren’t meant to hear, a social media post, or a timeline that just doesn’t make sense.  The Ace tells me the bullshit will smell like bullshit.  You ain’t putting perfume on this pig.  You were warned that you would need to go within last week with the Hermit card.  However, the World tells me your decision will be completely supported provided you actually get off the damn fence.  The Eight of Swords speaks to feeling like you can’t make a move.  Now here’s the rub: the Eight of Swords is a card of keeping yourself in a bad situation.  Regardless of why you think you have to stay where you’re at—whether the reason is financial, you feel guilty, you need to keep up appearances, you don’t want to hurt anyone, you don’t have a Plan B, or you’re constipated—you have choices.  Even if your decision is to keep to yourself, stick to it.  The Four of Swords is a card of mental or physical exhaustion.  You are mentally and physically in a place to walk away and say, “Fuck it.”  This is not the time to start arguments or waste energy you don’t have.  This is also a card of going to your corner and tending to your wounds.  The World and the Four tell me you will recover, but you need to understand that taking a rest is part of the process.  The prevalence of Swords cards tells me this might be one of those times where you will want to cut your losses, rather than go all Braveheart and scream about what you deserve.

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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 12/22/20 – 12/29/20

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

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

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

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I think social media is a fetid fucking cesspool.  Nothing personal, but I feel like I would like people a lot more if I didn’t see their online personas.  But then I have to consider that most human connection happens online these days.  Also, being able to compare someone’s online persona vs. their behavior IRL has been a determinant in how I interact with them.  And most people’s online personas are like a giant hazmat sign.  Who knows what sort of gingerbread houses I would have walked into if the villains hadn’t shown themselves? It’s a conundrum that I give myself an ulcer over each day.  My latest example involves my YouTube tarot crush, Bea Lucile.

On 12/18/20, she posted this gem:

Here are a couple thoughts on this video that may provide CON-text:

  • Bea is a licensed mental health professional by day, so she may know a thing or two about what the symptoms of mental illness look like.
  • She usually tries to avoid hurting or offending others for personal and professional reasons.
  • Mental illness advocacy has become a super fashionable Twitter stance.  Advocacy shaming and #woke-shaming are a byproduct of this.
  • Mental health professionals tend to find the “who can be the most #woke” or “who’s the bigger advocate” game pretty fucking obnoxious.
  • Bea, like everyone else, has a right to her opinion.  Her opinion happens to be based on personal and professional observation.

Other than a couple minor points, I found myself agreeing with Bea.  The symptoms of mental illness are not exactly pleasant.  Take some of the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and bipolar for example:

  • Excessive worrying.
  • Restlessness.
  • Excessive fears.
  • Irritability.
  • Low energy.
  • Low mood.
  • Feeling isolated or alone.
  • Excessive energy.
  • Mood swings.
  • Feeling detached from reality.
  • Sleeping too much.
  • Sleeping too little.
  • Disregard for your safety.
  • Problems concentrating.
  • Feeling invisible or insignificant.
  • Bursts of anger or impatience that are too much for the situation.
  • Thoughts of suicide.
  • Constant feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, or worthlessness.
  • Too much energy.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Loss of interest in things you used to like.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.

NOTE:  This does not even cover symptoms of other disorders, such as psychotic disorders.  

If you’re feeling any one of those symptoms, do your manners sparkle?  Is your aura overflowing with positivity?  Probably not.  In fact, mental illness is harshly stigmatized because of how these symptoms compel one to act.  Mental illness is more than someone in an oversized dark hoodie crying alone.  As Bea said, mental illness also means:

  • Canceling your plans at the last minute because you just had a panic attack.
  • Using drugs or alcohol to “act normal.”
  • Not having enough energy to shower or brush your teeth for days on end.
  • Getting fired from jobs for constantly being late and not being much of a team player.
  • Keeping your relationships superficial so that you don’t bring anyone down.
  • Giving way more than you can afford to compensate for never feeling like enough.
  • Bombarding your friend with 30 text messages in under 5 minutes.
  • Starting arguments.
  • Isolating yourself in your house (in a non-COVID way).
  • Not speaking up for yourself until you fucking explode.
  • Avoiding people because even YOU can’t predict what mood you’ll be in that day.
  • Never inviting other people out because you don’t know if you’ll feel triggered by your environment.
  • Constantly having to apologize for what you did the night before until you just don’t want to face people again.
  • Crying for no reason.
  • Not knowing how to act in situations where you should feel happy.
  • Always interrupting people, talking way too much, or being too loud in public.
  • Feeling too self-conscious to talk to a friend because they might think you’re clingy or a pain in the ass.
  • Your checking account always being overdrawn because you don’t know your limits when you’re manic.
  • Being up for two days without any sort of *ahem* chemical help, then missing family events because your body just had to crash.
  • Being the King or Queen of awkward TMI.
  • Flooding your social media accounts with TMI, angry, or nonsensical posts that alienate others.
  • Avoiding holidays or social events because you feel like you kill the vibe.
  • Being overly focused on making things perfect to compensate for those times when you will ruin the good situations in your life.
  • Lashing out angrily because you’re feeling freaked out and overwhelmed.

For the person who posts pithy quotes about mental health journeys, being seen, no one truly being alone, and making sure to tell those who are suffering that you see them, do you see them when they’re being rude?  Do you appreciate the mental health journey of the sibling who is verbally abusing you because it’s easier than looking at themselves?  Are you a #mentalhealthawareness advocate when you’re making fun of the homeless guy, muttering about his missing dog and a hemorrhoid pillow?  How about when you shun the friend who flaked on you for the millionth time in a year?  Do you have your Twitter compassion or your Twitter pitchfork for that person asking for beer money on the corner?

All words lose their meaning if they’re overused and barely used correctly.  For example, the utter bastardization of the word literally and the barely-veiled condescension when someone adds “if that makes sense” after every other sentence.  The words advocate, ally, and allyship are no fucking different.  This is especially true when you post a good game about providing an emotional safe space for struggling people, but then treating the ones in your orbit like lesser beings…  which was exactly the point of Bea’s video.

However, this excellent point was lost amid the simping and stan culture that’s fostered by social media.  

So what’s the answer?  I’m no expert, but here’s my simple plan:

  1.  Educate yourself about the signs of mental illness and how this makes people behave.  Nami.org is a great resource.
  2. Respect your boundaries.  If someone is sucking the life out of you, constantly wasting your time, lying to you, stealing from you, or some other such bad behavior, you don’t have to put up with it.  Please don’t let any online zealot tell you otherwise.  Just don’t slip into hate speech and pejoratives.
  3. Practice compassion.  Force does not always need to be met with force.  Trying to understand where someone is coming from goes a long way.  Also, there’s a good chance you don’t know the whole story.
  4. Consider shutting the fuck up.  Seriously, your actions on a daily basis should tell the world about your character.  Social media advocacy is meaningless.
  5. Check your assumptions at the door.  If someone comes at you politely, maybe you should chill out before you decide that you feel threatened and call them a performative activist.  

I dedicate this song to Bea Lucile:

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.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I highly recommend this meditation:

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 12/22/20 – 12/29/20 and I got:  The High Priestess (number 2, stillness, someone who gives good advice, perhaps a lonely time of life, the need to use downtime constructively, getting in touch with one’s own wisdom, intuition, and the need to act independently); the Wheel of Fortune (number 10, the natural cycle of life, the need to use an opportunity to one’s advantage, beneficial life changes, the need to be observant, the need to be flexible, and deciding whether one will be a victim or a decisive actor); Queen of Pentacles (earth sign female, someone concerned with keeping up appearances, someone who enjoys luxury, possibly selfishness and opportunism, and possibly acts of service); and Princess of Wands (young fire sign person, new creative projects, childlike wonder, energetic young person, and initiative and creativity).  You may want to pay attention to any dreams or signs you get this week.  While there is no numerical or suit theme here, this spread is comprised of Major Arcana and Court cards.  Our spread starts with the High Priestess, a card of stillness and intuition.  One possible meaning of this card is to sit back and observe, which is supported by the Wheel of Fortune.  Both of these cards are a sign for you to stand back and detach from any drama.  The first two cards in this spread tell you to take in what’s going on around you, without taking it on as your own.  It is entirely likely that any drama going on around you has nothing to do with you.  However, if you find yourself being reactive this week, then you may want to consider that you might be projecting your issues onto others.  Either way, chill the fuck out and don’t get too attached to anything that happens.  Perhaps this is a great week to reread The Four Agreements.   Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, the Queen of Pentacles has always reminded me of the ultimate stereotype of a political wife—knows how to deliver a good sound byte and work the room, always looks great, is probably on the posh side, and just might be a wee bit two-faced.  On the positive side, the Queen is a reminder to pamper yourself a little.  Give in to your chocolate cravings.  Live a little.  However, the negative aspect of the Queen is she can be faker than Instagram fitness pics.  This is a reminder to be polite, but not fake.  When coupled with the theme of the first two cards—observe, don’t personalize, and trust your gut—the Queen possibly signifies the need to keep your eyes peeled for opportunities and to be on your best behavior.  Your interactions today might pay dividends tomorrow.  The Princess of Wands somewhat runs with the opportunity theme because it is a card that talks about inspiration and new projects.  It is also a card of wonder, even a reminder to play a little more.  My gut feeling says these two court cards also speak to the holiday this week (Christmas, in case you were wondering).  Don’t be so caught up in appearances that you forget to have fun.  In fact, this may be a good week to express at least three things you are grateful for each day.  If your family is on the dysfunctional side, this spread should be a bit of a relief because it tells me you can avoid the normal family drama by playing nice.  Those of you who are unlucky enough to be born into a tangle of narcissistic pit vipers just need to be mindful of how your words can bite you later.  Because they always will.  This week should be relatively peaceful, though.  The last theme is a decidedly feminine energy this week.  We see this quiet girl power theme in the High Priestess, a more polished and shiny feminine energy in the Queen, and an adventurous girl in the Princess.  There is an emphasis on relationships this week, but they don’t feel that deep.  Focus your need to connect on those who have historically had your back.  If your loved ones like to keep things surface level or make you feel like Charlie Brown and the football, don’t show them your soft, white under belly or express an opinion deeper than, “I like water.”

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’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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 12/15/2020 – 12/22/2020

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.

There has been a lot of buzz about empaths on teh interwebs lately.  Don’t believe me?  My quick Google search for empath turned up over 10,000 articles.  Here are the first five articles about the empath topic:

If these articles are any indication, being an empath puts you on the same level as Professor Charles Xavier.  This doesn’t even cover the online empath support groups on MeetUp.com or Facebook.  But I wouldn’t queue up Cerebro just yet, bro.  You may think being an empath makes you the lone beacon of light that will save humanity from its own darkness, buuuttt let’s look at the dark side of being able to feel the feelings of whomever is closest to you.  Trust the psychic on this one.  Being so sensitive that you take on others’ feelings as your own can also lead to:

  • Seriously shitty boundaries.
  • Normal human interactions giving you a serious panic attack.
  • Feeling like you’re going to drown when you’re in a crowded room.
  • An inability to hit the emotional off switch.
  • Your intuition may always show you the truth, but that doesn’t mean others are going to believe you.
  • Social isolation. 

Have I mentioned social media is a fucking cesspool?

Sorry, not sorry about the lack of filter, but it brings me to my point…  which is the veritable glut of information on #mentalhealthawareness and #empaths online.  Per this information, empath automatically equals good personNO. IT. FUCKING. DOES. NOT.  In addition to the flaky and downright rude behavior that can come from my list of empath side effects above, an empath can also be an opportunistic bastard who feels all da feelz, but just doesn’t give a shit.   Cult leaders, gurus, performative activists, and communal narcissists might all fit into this category.  Now consider this:

But fret not.  You can boil down the difference between a good empath and a dark empath with one simple word: Intention.  That’s right.  The intention of said empath determines whether they use their power like a douchebag.

My advice to you for the week is to take a cue from a great American philosopher and check yourself before you wreck yourself.  Quiet your mind, be willing to get honest, and ask yourself the following:

  • What do I feel strongly compelled to do or say right now?
  • What do I want to feel after doing or saying this?
  • What do I want the other person to feel or do after I do or say this?
  • What am I feeling right now?
  • What am I thinking right now?
  • Why do I need a reaction from this other person?
  • What about the other person makes me feel like this is what I need to do or say?
  • When was the first time I can remember feeling like I needed to do or say something like this?
  • What did I actually do or say at that time?  Am I happy with what I did or said?

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

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

Oh, and Boho Beautiful is doing another fitness challenge.  Check it out:  

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo…  Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 12/15/20 – 12/22/20 and I got:  Six of Swords (number 6, healing, peace after difficult times, relief from stress or pressure, life becoming more peaceful, possibly a vacation, and possibly a guardian angel); Princess of Swords (air sign young person, clever young person, witty person, someone with a lot to say, new information to process, gossip, a new concept, and letters or messages); Eight of Cups (number 8; “easy come, easy go”; letting go; the loss of a dream; a lonely trip; possibly travel; loneliness; and possibly things being taken for granted); and King of Swords (air sign male, possibly harsh words or biting sarcasm, someone concerned with law or fairness, someone who gives good advice).  The immediate good news with this spread is we’re out from under the flaky cloud of three energy.  The two main themes in this spread are moving from high stress to calmer times and the suit of Swords.  The first theme—moving to a lower pressure mental system—is shown with the Six of Swords and the Eight of Cups.  The Six of Swords signifies moving away from stress, whether it happens via taking a physical vacation or simply deciding you’re not going to put up with any more shit.  Given that the Six is from the Swords suit, we can pretty much conclude this suit is about mental stress.  The Eight of Cups supports that because the Eight speaks to an “easy come, easy go” mentality.  These two cards in one spread give off a sort of fuck it energy.  I feel like this is the week you decide to stop the needless stress, which brings me back to the second theme.  Three of these four cards are from the suit of Swords, which speaks to mental processes.  These processes include thoughts, thought patterns, and communication.  I feel like the Princess has to do with that one piece of information that changes the way you look at your situation.  Unfortunately, this intel may come in the form of gossip you weren’t meant to hear or someone getting a little too chatty due to anxiety.  The Princess is also a card of racing thoughts and someone with way more genius ideas than they can use.  This is usually the precocious child whom no one listens to because they’re always talking.  It’s only natural that things get a little TMI.  The Eight of Cups tells us, though, that this TMI moment releases you from a sense of obligation you had to a concept, institution, or person.  It’s like whatever this thing is has no more power over you.  Fuck it, indeed.  The issue here is that the Eight brings with it a sense of loneliness, so your liberation may come after a bit of a gut punch.  Say you’ve been working day and night to plan the perfect Christmas for a relative, only to hear they’ve been talking mad shit about you to anyone who will listen.  Gosh, you don’t owe them so much as a lump of coal now, do you?  The fairness-obsessed King of Swords says you most certainly do not.  The King works for the good of all, but never betrays himself in the process.  This King is also a warning that there may be some words that cut deep.  Don’t hit below the belt unless you’re willing to walk away from the situation permanently.  I feel like the three Swords cards are telling us that this week can be a good time to release karma and mental bondage.  Just don’t expect freedom to feel the way you think it should.

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’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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!

Tarot Reading of the Week: 12/1/20 – 12/8/20 and 12/9/20 – 12/15/20

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

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

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

I don’t know about you, but was constantly emailing my congressmen over the last four years.  The gray wolf needs saving?  Tell my congressman!  The GOP is trying to ban abortion again?!  Time to fire off a scathing email.  Trump’s minions obfuscated the law again?  You know my congressman heard about it.  I’m pretty sure the poor interns that manned the emails groaned or took a shot of tequila every time they saw my email address.

But my congressional emailing super power fucking paled in comparison to my petition-clicking finger of steel.  Can you blame me, though?  Sites like Care2 and Lady Free Thinker make it easy to solve all the world’s problems with just one click.  So I signed petition after petition, for cause after cause.  I remember some cases and petitions better than others, usually because they had more buzz and outrage around them.

But does that make it right?

One petition I definitely remember signing was to get justice for Cyntoia Brown.  Ms. Cyntoia was a 16-year-old runaway when she got trafficked by a pimp.  While involuntarily working as a sex worker, Cyntoia was convicted of the robbery and murder of Johnny Michael Allen, a man she met on the job.  Something about Cyntoia captured the hearts of SJW’s and celebrities, such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.  These celebs unleashed a social media avalanche about why this poor, sex-trafficked girl did not deserve to rot in prison.  Millions of people—including me—signed a petition for Tennessee’s governor to have some mercy on her.

To everyone’s astonishment, Cyntoia Brown was released in 2019.  Many muscles were sore from the Twitter Collective (™) patting ourselves on the back.  Woo hoo!!

Again I ask, was it right?

You can read the entire case here, but there were a couple things the hive mind—myself included—failed to consider.  Potentially pivotal things, such as:

  • She attacked a nurse while incarcerated.
  • The victim was in a prone position when she killed him.
  • There were issues with the mental health assessments administered to her.

Maybe she didn’t deserve life due to a couple mitigating factors, but did she get off too easy?  Watch this video by Dr. Grande and decide for yourself:

My personal opinion is that given her age and some of the growth she displayed while incarcerated, 15 years is more appropriate than life.  But I’m not a lawyer.  None of the celebrities that clearly influenced the justice system were legal experts.  We were all merely outraged and fed off each other.

Don’t get me wrong.  The Twitter pitchforks actually came in handy in this case, but it does not change these two facts:

  1.  Social media is a fucking cesspool.
  2. Outrage is ruining our ability to think for ourselves and our culture.

If you don’t want outrage to turn you into a self-righteous banshee, maybe you should consider keeping a feelings journal.  Here’s why:

  • Feelings journals help you identify your emotional triggers.
  • Understanding your emotions and what catalyzes them makes you less vulnerable to being manipulated by the victims, narcissists, con artists, and assholes in your life.
  • This sort of mindfulness helps you regulate your stress response when your creepily conservative aunt posts about “Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve” or the Gen Z kid in your life answers your text with “okay, boomer.”

Feelings journals need not be complex.  In fact, it’s best to keep it simple.  Check out this example of a feelings journal prompt:

  • Positive Feelings:
  • Negative Feelings:
  • Thoughts When Those Feelings Occurred:
  • Intensity of the Feelings (1-10, with 10 being “most intense”):
  • Have these feelings ever triggered you to lash out at others, withdraw, get even with someone, harm yourself to spite someone, ruin a relationship, or act self-destructively?  If Yes, describe:

If you like that prompt, use it daily.  It takes about a week to really notice a difference.

Once you’re done with that, check out this yoga video for a nice way to reset yourself:

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

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

Just for funsies, check this out:

Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, Onto the Reading, Shall We…?

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 12/1/20 – 12/8/20 and I got:  The Empress (number 3, fertility, creativity, a caution against smothering others, “mommy issues,” the urge to be productive, the need to let go of one’s creation, and a nurturing person); Six of Pentacles (number 6, equal give and take, charity, giving and receiving help, karmic returns, reaping what one sows, practical help coming at the right time, and giving with low expectations); Ace of Wands (number 1 or 11, new projects, surge of energy, new business ventures, new life, and ideas that will expand one’s horizons); and Princess of Cups (young water sign person, intuitive young person, one’s inner child, imagination, the need to be creative, and daydreaming).  The energy around this spread feels hazy, like someone walking around in a fog.  You will likely feel as though you are watching your life from the fourth wall.  Or you may feel less connected to logic and reason this week.  Either way, something about this week feels like we’re not on the right planet.  Right off the bat, this spread begins with a Major Arcana card.  My OG readers will tell you a Major Arcana card is a theme you need to pay attention to, as it points to a significant person or theme in your life.  In this case, we have the Empress, which corresponds to strong feminine energy, motherhood, and creativity.  She can be nurturing and can inspire your creativity, if we are looking at the positive side.  The Empress in the negative, however, corresponds to an overbearing mother figure and creative constipation.  Those of you familiar with numerology know the Empress corresponds to three energy.  The lowdown on three energy is it is creative, playful, charismatic, and hospitable when worked in the positive.  In the negative, however, three energy procrastinates, smothers, tends to be workaholic, and is the energetic version of your delusional, optimistic friend who refuses to accept reality.  The kind of energy that’s perfect for social media, if you think about it.  The Empress’s creative aspect is backed up by the Ace of Wands and the Princess of Cups.  The Ace of Wands is a card of new projects and getting a surge of energy to breathe life into something.  This card greenlights that nagging vision you want to make real.  This would be a great week to start—or finish—your creative projects.  The Princess of Cups corresponds to your sensitive, intuitive inner child.  This Princess loves fairy tales and has a tendency to daydream beyond the point of what’s healthy, which underscores the escapist three energy of this spread.  On the flipside, be sure to write down any recurring daydreams, nocturnal dreams, or recurring oddball thoughts you get this week.  The Princess of Cups suggests these may not be merely daydreams, but a wee bit of prophecy coming at you.  I feel like these are the seeds of your next move, so write down any questions you have for the Universe before you go to sleep.  Your questions will be answered before the end of the year.  WARNING: This is the week where you want to balance your escapism with reality.  This is NOT the week to get lazy, put things off, or get complacent.  Given that three energy will use workaholism to escape, I wonder if this would be a good time for us to examine what in our lives is busywork vs. what should be given top priority.  You may not need everything you think you need. I feel like the ideal project to start would be one that involves minimalism, but these cards make me think you won’t be in the most practical mood this week.  Remember how I said the Empress is also the card of motherhood?  This spread contains a motherhood card, the oft phallic Ace of Wands, and a childhood card (Princess of Cups).  The fourth card is the Six of Pentacles, which is the card of equal give and take.  Perhaps I have a dirty mind, but the subtext of this spread is one of *ahem* successful fertilization.  If you’re not looking to reproduce, please take proper precautions.  Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink.  Say no more.   For those of you who aren’t likely to spawn, your mommy issues may come out to play.  This means old childhood triggers may rear their ugly heads.  There are no negative cards in this spread, so I feel like the end result of being triggered will be inspiration.  Given the smothering nature of the Empress, coupled with the give-and-take card and the Princess, I feel like you may have to assertively decline someone’s attempts at being generous.  This may look like rogue kindness, but it’s likely to violate your boundaries in a way that will really get under your skin.  Don’t let people do for you what you can do yourself, and vice versa.  This enabling will get in the way of true creativity and inspiration.

I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 12/9/20 – 12/15/20 and I got:  Knight of Cups (water sign male, fuck boy energy, new romantic prospect, emo kid idealized concept of love, someone easily hurt or moody, a gentle soul, someone who lacks initiative); Three of Swords (number 3, temporary sadness, grief, emotional wounds that need time to heal, allowing oneself time to grieve, and release of painful memories); the Devil (number 15, temptation, possibly addiction, oppressive parts of one’s life coming to the surface, a relationship based on lust or fatal attraction, fear blocking one from moving forward, the need to examine one’s attitudes, and possibly self-destructive behavior); and Three of Pentacles (number 3, recognition for a job well done, rewards for sincere efforts, reaching the top of one’s profession, and possibly a prize or award).  The theme of this week is once again three energy.  Although three energy is highly creative, it can be flakier than a blue ribbon pie crust.  The Knight of Cups supports this, as he is probably the most mercurial and emo court card in the deck.  Unlike the Knight of Pentacles, the Knight of Cups is not the guy you would call if you get stranded in the middle of the night.  The Knight of Cups is fun and has good ideas, but he’s too in his feelings to be effective.  So what if you’re in the parallel universe where last week’s spread really does indicate pregnancy.  If the Knight of Cups represents he who did the impregnating, you’re fucked in more ways than one.  For those of you who are single, the Knight represents the possibility of a new romantic distraction.  Just don’t get too caught up in those boxed wine-and-roses fantasies.  This distraction isn’t meant to be anything deep.  For those of you who are happily coupled, the Knight represents a good time to go on an impromptu date or tell your boo how you feel.  Anyhoo, Mr. Emo Knight is situated next to our first three energy card, the Three of Swords.  This Three is a card of grief and being wounded.  Next to our Knight, this is a card of disappointment, or a wounded animal lashing out in pain.  The Devil rounds out the emotion sandwich that is the first three cards, which tells me you will either be triggered by someone hitting an old nerve or you will be the one who steps on this landmine o’ tears.  Hell, maybe you should start a band called Landmine O’ Tears because the Devil is a card of temptation and dark thoughts.  Not necessarily suicidal thoughts, but the usual self-destructive shit, such as drugs, alcohol, lying, cheating, envy, lust, and hitting others below the belt in an  argument.  I almost never advocate self-destructive behavior and this week is no exception.  Keep your body parts and unkind words to yourself.  The Knight next to the Three of Swords tells me you will be in a funk this week, which may make you low energy and reactive.  There is a bit of a silver lining this week, though.  Remember how I said three energy is highly creative?  This creativity is underscored by the presence of the Knight and the Three of Pentacles.  If you can push through the temptation to get stuck in grief—which is one meaning of the Three of Swords next to the Devil—the Three of Pentacles says the Universe will make it worth your while.  

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

The Card:  Page of Air

Meaning:  Air signs, honest person, the need to be logical, impulsivity, curiosity, information one finds challenging, change of plans, delays, lacking diplomacy, the truth hurts, information that changes a situation, a quick-minded person, and finding out the truth behind someone’s actions.

Mantras:  I approach situations with logic and objectivity.

  • I allow others to be who they are.
  • I am mindful of my emotional biases and agendas.
  • I am able to avoid being triggered by others’ behavior.
  • I face the truth objectively and realistically.
  • I understand the difference between honesty and cruelty.
  • I tell the truth as diplomatically as possible.
  • I avoid sarcasm and pointed jabs when speaking with others.
  • I avoid falling for others’ emotional manipulations and pointed jabs.

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’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.  I think you should go get it, Tiger!