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.
NOTE: I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt. It’s not you, it’s me. In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books. You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them. Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance. I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading. I apologize.
In case you appreciate my hot take on current events, here ya go (click on the hyperlinks to read the stories for yourself):
- Easily one of the most disturbing developments, Russian leader Vladimir Putin tested a nuclear-capable missile. This particular missile is reportedly able to get past all known missile-detecting technology. Russia is expected to take delivery of this device by the fall of 2022. Yeah… That’s a problem. The U.S. was notified prior to the launch, which I guess is protocol? Apparently V-Pootz following S.O.P. makes this more of a chest-thumping gesture than an actual threat, sayeth the experts.
- Meanwhile, Russia’s premiere fighter jet–the SU-35–was shot down recently. U.K. and U.S. scientists believe the remnants of this jet can crack the code for winning the aerial portion of this war.
- If you need further proof of Russia shooting themselves in the foot, financial experts predict Russia will be defaulting on their loans. This might lead other countries to seize the central bank’s assets, as Russia’s $650,000,000 bond debt will be a bitch to resolve.
- Researchers have found that vaping increases inflammation in your lungs, brain, and intestines. The study only focused on the JUUL brand, but methinks the results will be applicable to most vape brands (further studies pending, of course).
- U.S. President Joe Biden recently decided to reopen public land for oil drilling. This highly controversial move was made to combat the astronomical price of gas. Did your heart just sink to the bottom of your intestines reading that? No? Just me then?
- The Niels Bohr Institute and the Technical Institute of Denmark found what they believe to be “an ancestor of a supermassive black hole.” They say it was formed around the time of the Big Bang.
- Did you know that mindfulness can actually increase the likelihood of you becoming a douchebag? Experts have found that mindfulness meditation reduces your feelings of guilt and compunction, even if you have something for which you should feel guilty. Shallow types with narcissistic tendencies and careers in social media should be gravitating to this in 3… 2… 1…
- Did you know that regular cannabis use can negatively affect your executive functioning (i.e. decision-making, ability to organize yourself, memory, ability to think logically and flexibly, etc)? It also leads to riskier decision-making. We’re talking about regular—aka daily or multiple times weekly—use of the devil’s lettuce, but those who are on the less frequent binge plan also experience effects. You can read all about it right here.
- Is it just me, or is the internet trying to diagnose everyone with ADHD? That in and of itself should raise some serious red flags, but I digress. Before you print off your test results and march into your local shrink’s office, you might want to see this: Mental health researchers have found that it may be beneficial to rule out Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder before diagnosing someone with ADHD. (You might also want to rule out anxiety, emotional burnout, poor distress tolerance, a shitty diet…)
If you’re concerned about Russian civilians being incarcerated for peaceful protests and speaking their minds, please consider donating to OVD-Info. This organization works tirelessly to make sure less Russian civilians are unjustly jailed. You can donate to OVD-Info right here.
If you can, please consider making a donation to Ukranians affected by the current crisis. Consider making a donation to Catholic Relief Services or the International Rescue Committee to provide displaced Ukranians with much needed food, shelter, and medical care. Or, if you are more concerned about the children, please donate to UNICEF. Honestly, anything helps at this point.
Check out the fundraiser to get this sweet boy named Orion a seizure alert dog. His original service dog passed away and poor Orion still asks about him. Orion’s family has been doing what they can to make dogs part of Orion’s therapy because he positively lights up when he works with them, but Orion still needs a service dog of his own. It looks like they raised way more than their goal, but I’m sure every little bit still helps. You can check it out 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.
***Yep. I know I’m late again. I’d apologize, but it keeps happening. Apologizing for something I know I’m going to do again (albeit hopefully less frequently) seems pointless. I’m just going to keep doing my best and hope that my best (and my dumpster fire time management skills) will get better as the other stuff I’m dealing with gets resolved.
Aaaannnnyyyyhoo… Onto the Reading, Shall We…?
I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 4/18/22 – 4/25/22 and I got: Seven of Wands (number 7, reaping what one sows, making a stand when challenged, success in overcoming challenges, receiving the same energy one puts out, receiving benefits for hard work, and dealing with difficulty well); Five of Cups (number 5, grief and loss, an emotional loss, the need to focus on what remains, the need to let go of an emotional issue, and temporary melancholy); Five of Wands (number 5, conflict, competition, the need to defend oneself, one’s opinions and beliefs being questioned, the need to prove one’s point, and possibly jealousy-driven actions); and Princess of Wands (young fire sign person, new creative or business projects, an energetic person, burst of energy or initiative, urge to start a creative project, and renewed motivation). This week isn’t especially heavy or loaded, but it is all about pushing through discomfort and putting in effort. Five energy governs this week in the form of the Five of Cups and the Five of Wands. Five energy represents chaos, change, and temporary upset. It’s not as devastating as the Tower card, but you will feel like one of those science fair volcanoes. The suits of these Five cards make things a little tricky. First we have the slightly emo Cups card, Five of Cups. The Five of Cups is a card of grief and loss, usually after an unexpected emotional upset. This card has more to do with the more cathartic type of sadness, rather than the deep melancholy of the Nine of Swords. The Five of Swords is grief that needs to be expressed and respected so you can appreciate what remains. Because it sits next to the competitive Five of Wands, the grief indicated by the Five of Cups is likely to come out as a meltdown, anxiety out of nowhere, or an emotional flashback. The second major theme in this spread comes in the form of three out of four of these cards being from the Suit of Wands, which is the suit of action, initiative, creativity, and intuition. Combined with chaotic five energy, the majority of Wands cards in this spread promises to move you from stagnation to the fast lane in nothing flat. Keeping those two themes (Wands and five energy) in mind, let’s break down this spread. We kick things off with the intense, determined Seven of Wands. Much like the Five of Wands, the Seven is a card of competition. Unlike the Five, the Seven of Wands speaks of competition and hard work to achieve a goal. This is a stark contrast to the Five’s underlying pettiness and jealousy. The Seven of Wands also tells us that we’ll get what we put into a situation. I feel like the Seven is our warning not to be mean-spirited, even though the chaos and grief promised by our two Five cards might bring anyone’s inner bitchzilla, please resist the temptation. We then have our two chaos-bringers, the Five of Cups and the Five of Wands. These two cards together feel like an emotional trigger in the form of someone’s smart-assed comment or being stressed out and feeling not good enough. This Five Energy-Laden Combo of Suck (™) will most likely manifest as a series of digs from a frenemy or relative; a coworker throwing you under the bus, then playing the hero with the boss; a hostile friend’s manipulations being exposed; or a sudden increase in chaos at work. The grief of the Five of Cups will show itself in two ways. First, you will see where you have been wearing rose-colored glasses or not seeing things for what they are. Second, the stress and chaos will trigger some old wounds, usually the ones that leave us with persistent feelings of not being lovable or good enough. There feels like an element of humiliation to these events as well. If they are consciously being orchestrated by others—a la verbal digs or sabotage—you best believe the nasty person involved is choosing things that will make you feel the most ashamed, foolish, or unworthy. If the bullshit comes about via an unlucky series of events that throws a wrench in your plans, take it as a sign to revamp your priorities. I feel like the first and last cards are providing us the biggest hint for how to deal with our fucked up triggers. The Seven of Wands is a hard-working, productive card. The last card—the Princess (aka Page) of Wands—is a card of creative projects, inspiration, and having the drive to work on something new. I feel like the Seven of Wands and the Princess of Wands are telling you that this would be a good week to channel your sadness, grief, anxiety, loneliness, anger, constipation, and any other sick or uncomfortable feeling you have into a new art project, writing a song, or even cleaning your house. These cards are telling you to let yourself feel all of your feelings—even the negative ones—and work through them by turning the undesirable emotions into something beautiful or useful. This is a week to be gardening, cleaning, painting, dancing, exercising, cooking, and pretty much anything else that gets you out of your head. This is a week to commit to the smaller action steps that would bring you closer to a goal. Just beware of others’ verbal traps or letting yourself get swallowed by your least favorite emotions.
I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 4/25/22 – 5/2/22 and I got: Ace of Swords (number 1 or 11, cutting through unnecessary details to get to the truth, cutting through old or negative karma, getting rid of thought patterns or attitudes that are no longer working, a new approach is needed, the need to be more logical about a situation, and the need to declutter); Two of Wands (number 2, business or creative partnership, success, a feeling that the grass could be greener elsewhere, restlessness, weighing possibilities, wanting to expand one’s horizons, and new plans); Knight of Swords (air sign male, eloquent and charming person, someone who disappears from one’s life quickly, impatience, the need to be cautious when signing contracts or making commitments, a warning against hasty or angry words); and the World (number 21, a natural ending to a cycle in one’s life, integration, new beginnings, ultimate success, a project that receives recognition, possibly travel or a vacation, and peaceful endings). This spread reads simultaneously like a sigh of relief and one of those “oh shit, what now?” moments. The theme of beginnings and endings runs through this spread in a couple ways. First, this spread starts with the Ace of Swords, a card of breakthroughs, getting to the truth, and new ideas. The Ace cuts through negative karma, thought patterns and beliefs that are holding you back, and bullshit. You might experience this energy as suddenly seeing your role in things. You might wake up and understand that you’re being played. The Ace may show you where you have been romanticizing the truth in order to keep a relationship or the peace. Or you might want to slap the shit out of everyone. Perhaps you have even repaid some karmic debts, or feel inspired to do so. Whatever the case, the Ace is a card of beginnings that come as a result of a realization. Any inspiration, thought, awakening, or epiphany you experience this week isn’t just gas. It could be the first sign that you need to take a hard left, even though you had planned to go right. The endings part of the beginnings and endings theme comes in the form of our last card, the World. Not only is the World the final card in the Major Arcana—the part of the tarot that specifically deals with lessons and karmic themes—the World is also the card that signifies natural endings to cycles in your life. We’re talking about jobs, relationships, or friendships that have run their course. We might also be speaking of belief systems or automatic thought patterns that might be shooting you in the foot. This might be a good week for you to keep a short feelings journal, use a mood tracker app, or pause your habit of covering your “icky” feelings with being a workaholic or using your to-do list to buffer your trauma responses. Just saying. Annnnyyyyhoo, our next two cards—the Two of Wands and the Knight of Swords—tell us a little more about what might be coming full circle for you this week. The Two of Wands is a card of possibilities and opportunities. We often see the Two when you have a choice to make (i.e. when someone asks if their significant other has someone else on the side or if you will have more than one option if you decide to leave your job). The “should I stay or should I go?” energy of the Two often comes with a heapin’ helpin’ of restlessness and impatience. You might find yourself not being able to stay still or feeling dissatisfied with things that used to soothe or distract you, though you won’t be as agitated as last week. Your agitation has merely become more focused. The Knight of Swords not only heightens this claustrophobic impatience, it also injects impulsivity into the mix. These two cards show me moving on is inevitable and you might be inspired to act like a raging asshole to speed things up, if you feel the journey to Point B is a little slow. The fact that we have two Swords cards in this reading shows me it will be your thoughts that either whip your feelings into a frenzy or tell you to chill and be rational. Might I suggest taking the middle approach? Three of these cards—the World, the Ace, and the Two—show us that new opportunities should present themselves pretty quickly if you exfoliate the pore-clogging thought patterns, beliefs, frenemies, draining people, et al that are clogging your psychic complexion. This means you have a little time to get yourself a game plan. Use the impatience and aggravation you might be feeling this week to make sure this exit benefits you without burning any bridges. This might look like giving notice at work, networking on LinkedIn, setting boundaries with draining family members, politely blocking people, focusing on solo projects instead of collabs, and going to the gym instead of listening to your friend deflect accountability in a three-hour phone call where she monologues about her overly dramatic relationships and how all of her previous partners must be narcissists.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. While you’re at it, check out her newest collection of creepy tales right here.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about the abortion bans over the last year, but my OG readers can probably guess that grills my cheese in a bad way. Please consider donating to Planned Parenthood. The problem with banning abortion is, this makes a huge legal loophole for conservative legislators to make things like birth control or women’s healthcare cost prohibitive. Banning abortion also criminalizes doctors in situations where the pregnancy is nonviable and the fetus needs to be extracted in order to save the mother’s life. You know those babies conservative pro-life types don’t like paying for? Taking away abortion rights will most likely create more of those. I know, I know. Anyone who would read my blog probably doesn’t get stigmata or have a trauma reaction at the thought of Planned Parenthood. (If you do think I owe the world an apology for singing the praises of Planned Parenthood, I have two things to say to you. One, please remember what your religion told you about judging others and take a long look in the mirror. Two, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with other services Planned Parenthood provides. They offer women and men’s preventive healthcare, birth control and emergency contraception, HIV services, assistance for the transgender community, sexual assault crisis counseling, pregnancy counseling, and STD testing. You can learn more about these services right here.)
Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue. They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signaling, why not buy a shirt that gives back? Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need. I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest political collab. He’s coming back in the near future, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and then gifted the world with Part Three. Part Four is right here. And, ehrmagerd, you can even score Part Five. For those of you who can’t do the piecemeal thing, check out The Omnibus Edition so you can get Volumes 1-6 in one place. I think you should go get it, Tiger!