Ostara Divination: September 2021

Ostara card spread courtesy of Muses of Mystery. Ostara Tarot used. Blue cornflower tea taken to aid divinatory practices on the day of the Spring Equinox. Hail Persephone! Hail Demeter! Hail the Maiden coupled to the Sun God!

1.What do I need to bring back the balance to my life after the cold winter months? 5 of Swords. A green snake twines around 5 swords stabbed into a beach or sea. Conflict that saps energy, reaching for the unattainable – to grab at the nearest sword would be to get bitten. Shift perspective and walk away. In other words, stop yearning for increased energy and dynamism at a time when the world’s energy is at an all-time low. Covid, lockdown, exhaustion, fear – energy sappers. Turn my attention to other things.

1a. What part of me is ready to be reborn? Justice. A very Egyptiancard, a goddess rising from a river, winged, carrying golden scales of justice. A human heart is being weighed on the scales. Maat. I won’t get a gold medal for pushing energy in any direction. I’m ready for the reaction of 3 months of intense creative poetic energy to ease off now, and again, just be for a while. Apparently I need to be hit over the head with this message.

2. What do I need to focus my time and energy on in order to grow? 3 of Wands. Options. A frog sits in a pond watching three ships caught in a whirlpool. Possibilities. No snatching at the moment just contemplation of opportunities and possibilities for future directions. No action needed at the moment, which seems in opposition to burgeoning Spring all around me, but totally suits the frame of body and mind that I’m in.

3. How do I break through the hard shell holding me back? 7 of Cups. A masked woman carries a tray of spilling cups. She is surrounded by masked figures/animals, and is the centre of their attention. Acknowledgement and the centre of attention are illusions. Worldly success means little here, it’s imaginary. Breaking through the hard shell around me means being soft, dropping my masks as best I can, paying attention to the details of what I’m doing, and not worrying about what others think. Easy to say, dear tarot, after 57 years of autism high masking.

3a. How do I open myself to transformation? The World. The world forms from stardust and heat. Pure creation, gravity pulling everything together to make a whole. Allow myself to be pulled along for now, sticking my nose into whatever appeals. The next surge of creativity will come, but not yet. The world inside me is still being formed. To transform, I have to let myself be carried along various paths until something speaks up. Gravity, natural selection, again possibilities.

4. What awakens within and around me to nourish and support? The Empress. How many more times are you going to show up in readings, dear? I get it, you’re my soul and life card for this lifetime. The Empress crouches amongst ferns, allowing life force to flow from her into plants. A small bird nests in her hair. Earth Mother energy. Enjoying my Spring garden, as I am doing, seems to be exactly the right thing to be doing at the moment. Good. I shall carry on.

5. What new journeys will I embark on? Queen of Coins. A mother figure rests with a child, whilst goats surround. A shield to the fore, herbs above. Nurturing and protecting myself are the focus here, not new journeys. Perhaps an journey to my inner child, to protect and nurture her. Capricornian goats. A time of being a stickybeak goat, following my nose quietly, nurturing self. Spring can be busy, but not me.

5a. What new opportunities are on their way? 2 of Swords. A blindfolded blue jay rests on its nest, which is balanced on two crossed swords. Awkward position. One false shift, and everything’s tumbling. No opportunities right now. Being still. No movement for me. Indecision is not forever, it’s a salve right now. I don’t have to decide anything, sign up for anything, action anything. Just Be. Just Be. Just Be.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – update 22/9/21

It’s a long way from April to September. I began acute treatments in April, transitioned to maintenance in June, I think, and eased back from 4 treatments a week, to 3, to 2, and now 1. On Friday I have a review with the in-house, or house-brand psychiatrist to see how I’m going. I had hopes of reducing back to once a fortnight, but my most recent scores on the Beck Depressive Inventory, and the other 2 surveys I fill out (I’ll have to ask their names) indicate that I’ve gone a little downhill. It’s situational – basically, fuck lockdown and covid, and curfews, and restrictions, and the 10km from home radius limit, and social bubbles, and masking, and same old, same old. This doesn’t seem to be the opportune time to reduce my treatment.

I’m not fretting though. I’m in the extremely fortunate position to be able to continue maintenance treatments, and taper off at a later date. I don’t know – maybe the psych will see my dip as temporary and trial me on once per two weeks. I’ll see on Friday. What I have the luxury of that many don’t is that I get to choose.

A friend asked me today about the details of TMS, including costing, and when I told her, she said: “Oh, there’s just no way my friend can access that.” Even with Medicare refunding part of the cost, and Medicare, come November, starting to completely cover the first 15 treatments, it’s still a costly exercise.

This makes TMS elitist, and something for the Haves. This doesn’t sit well with me. Which doesn’t mean I’m going to quit in solidarity with the Have Nots. I have the opportunity to squeeze the absolute best result out of this, and I’m determined to do so.

I’ve started my yogic breathing techniques again at night, as part of my relaxation regime, I’m limiting screen time after 8pm, and making sure I have things mentally popped into every day so that I’m not drifting. I have outside time each day, and currently, I’m doing some gardening. I’m not sure how many more seeds, seedlings, bulbs, and plants I can stuff into the garden, but I’m going to do my best to create an absolute jungle that will make any permaculture person cry.

All in all, treatment is going well, and I’m still in a much better place than I was in April.

How I Read Tarot – instructional

A day late, and reading in the early evening instead of the morning. This morning was full of human beings chattering about the Australian eastern earthquake, like we were all lorikeets squawking away.

I’m reading with the Fountain Tarot, and since it’s just me again, I’m asking what the origin of my current slight increase in my depression and anxiety is. (As if I don’t know that it’s lockdown, covid, etc, but one never knows, there could be a hidden reason.)

To receive a more detailed message, I’m going for three cards this time.

3 of Wands, 2 of Wands, 10 of Swords.

3 of Wands: traditionally, the 3 of Wands speaks to the energy of Fire(Wands are fire cards), and to planning, determination, momentum, confidence, and looking ahead. Well, for the duration, I’ve given up on planning, and looking ahead. I won’t start planning trips, or big projects or anything of the sort until there’s a good chance of them happening. I don’t want undue pressure on myself, or disappointment. This card, in this deck, shows a man exerting great effort to achieve his aims. Focussed effort. The muted colours are typical of this deck, and the yellow typical of the wands cards. To me, at first glance, it looks like someone pulling a red, wormy rope out of a cocktail glass. I don’t drink, but it’s a timely warning to not drown myself in any sort of addiction. The gap between what I want to be doing(effort, momentum, planning) and what I’m currently capable of (a more drifting unplanned life) chafes me.

2 of Wands: traditionally, the 2 of Wands is about taking risks, planning, stepping out, first steps in a new direction, leaving comfort. It aligns with the 3 of Swords, which is slightly further along the path. In the Fountain Tarot deck, again we have yellow tones, but more muted than the 3 of Swords, with more blue and green hues. A hand holds two wands in a sort of chopsticks hold, with a crystal ball balanced on the meat of the hand. The little booklet that comes with the deck says this card is about choosing one thing over another. “You only have enough energy to develop one well.” Optimism, boldness, choosing, the world in your hands. Oh, dear tarot, if I had the energy to choose, I’d choose. I’d sally forth to research lyric, hermit crab, and braided essays until the cows came home. But you understand that despite your best intentions for me, I simply don’t have that mental energy right now. That too bugs me. And things that bug me are a drain on my energy levels.

10 of Swords: that old stab in the back, a disaster at hand. Well yes, it’s pandemic, sweetheart. Ruin, failure, exhaustion, betrayal, collapse. I am exhausted, hence the lower scores on my six-weekly surveys from TMS Australia. The child in me feels betrayed by nasty old germs and viruses. How dare it come along to spoil my life. How dare it sneak up on me and stab me in the back. Yes, my plans for 2020-21 have been ruined, just like everyone else. And like everyone else, I’m pouting. The card shows a nude person with swords running through them. They are bent over, defeated, in pain. Yes, I’ve felt all that. A situation that has, in my mind, gone past bearing, and has become very old. Yes, and yes, and yet there’s nothing to do but keep bearing up.

Putting together the Fire and Air of these cards, and having them correlated to energy and thought, it’s the constant background drag of lockdown and pandemic that’s wearing me thin, and dragging my energy down. Humans, including me, are not built to be under this much constant stress. I know I’m not the only one puttering to a standstill, and this reading is pretty much what I thought it would be. The collective energy around me, and the current uselessness of planning means I’m spinning my wheels and my inner self knows it. No amount of gardening, walks, macro photography, tarot play, or housepainting completely blocks out the state of the world. There are daily reminders, and the low level stabbing feeling of ‘another brick in the wall’.

If I came to this reading blind, without the knowledge of my own situation, if it was a reading for a stranger and the world wasn’t pandemicked, then I would say: “Oh, hon, you’re doing it to yourself. You don’t feel able to plan, dream, take steps, venture out from your comfort zone. You’re stabbing yourself repeatedly with destructive thoughts. You might even have reverted to old habits that hurt you. That’s why you feel so low.”

*****

I hope this small reading has given you some insight into how I read and interpret, how I pull a story together. I wish you luck on looking at, and reading your own cards. Maybe pull these three cards from your deck and see if you can make a story out of them. Depending on your belief system and training and learning, you may or may not incorporate the qualities of the elements represented, or have colour associations. Good luck, tarot-curious, and I’ll see you next week. Who knows – maybe someone will volunteer to ask a question. Otherwise, it will continue to be all about me, me, me.

Guidance For Magical Me – 19/9/21- 26/9/21

I am so exhausted from lockdown and the threat of covid that I’m changing up this week’s Guidance reading to be just for me. Sorry, magical folx, I can’t extend my energy to encompass anyone else this week. You’ll note that the post is already two days late, due to executive disfunction, exhaustion, and brain fritzing.

The Moon is waxing to Full from Sunday to Tuesday, then waning again through to next Saturday.

Full Moon in Pisces this time around, then waning through Aries, Taurus and Gemini.

There is also the Equinox on Wednesday 22nd. Spring for my Southern Hemisphere, Autumn for the Northern Hemisphere.

What magic can I work this week specifically to address this whole body exhaustion, and mind fritz? Never mind the greater good of the world and magical people? This is MY biggest issue, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m using the Animal Wisdom Tarot as part of my Spring Celebrations, another animal-based deck.

Cow – The Empress. Earth Mother. Is this deck being rude to me? Cow? Really? I know I’ve put on some covid kilos, but sheesh!

Anyway, the Empress speaks to true nurturance. Not the ‘take a bubble bath, drink some wine, eat chocolate, watch Netflix’ stuff recommended by magazines having a self-care themed month. True self care, which is a long term plan. It means saying no, having boundaries, changing things up to get the rest you need. If you’ve been putting off seeing a health or mental health professional, this is the sort of care that’s needed.

The advice to myself here is to slow down even more, be gentle and kind, quit Capricornian pushing. Drift for a while. No harm done if I do. I won’t get a medal for coming out the other side of lockdown with a fully painted house, magnificent garden, decluttered everything. I can Slow Down And Take It Easy.

And with that slowing down, some slow candle gazing, I think. Mindfulness, quiet, calm. That’s truly about all the the energy I have for this week, and The Empress comes forward to say ‘that’s okay’.

Maybe this applies to you, too. Slow down even more, take time. Have the bath if that’s what you want, but Cow advises that it’s time, with the watery full moon upon us, to address our deep needs and emotions. Pisces isn’t the best times to consider boundaries, because watery Pisces has none. Pisces is water without a container, endlessly flowing and spreading. Perhaps wait until the moon is in Taurus for looking at what you want to keep out and away from you. By the time the Moon is waning in Taurus, we could all use that waning energy to say ‘be gone’ to unwanted thoughts, people, and energies.

Here’s hoping I’m feeling a wee bit better next week.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – update 15/9/21

A day early, because I’m on the computer, on my blog, and thought I might as well get all my scheduled entries done this morning.

I had TMS yesterday. Honestly, the clinician and I couldn’t find the right spot on the right side of my head, and treatment hurt just a little all the way through the nineteen minutes of the steady tick-tick-tick. I guess my scalp got used to it, but when I paid attention to it, yeah, it was slightly painful. We tried four times to get the right spot and angle, but in the end I took the least uncomfortable spot and said: “Yeah, that’s okay-ish.” She was willing to keep going, but I just wanted it done, so I could get out and have a walk in the sunshine.

Left side of my head was, as always, more intense, and a much stronger dosage, but didn’t hurt. Discomfort yes, harder to think, so I drifted a bit, but otherwise, one hour later, all done, and I needed the walk to let the tiny muscles of my scalp go back to what they think is ‘relaxed’. Which is mighty tense at the best of times.

I felt a bit brain-dead and tired after I got home. Instead of doing some writing (why on earth do I schedule writing for afternoons, when I’m likely to be down a number of spoons of energy, and my brain has already dealt with a bunch of stuff in the morning?), I did a bit of house painting. That doesn’t require my brain to be of any use.

I’m still struggling with lockdown energy, or rather, lack of energy, but using up a couple of spoons on self-talk sees me out of bed, fed, washed, and ready to begin my day, albeit a bit later than I would ideally like.

My brain is still holding steady at no suicidal thoughts, low-lying to moderate anxiety, and a generally okay outlook on life, even though the current world situation is hard to endure.

This afternoon I do have some writing and writing offering to do, and some house painting, and then a bit of time in the garden. And walk the dog. Hopefully, my offspring will play some more music this afternoon, so I can run upstairs and dance in the hallway. It’s so much more fun to dance when they’re giving me filthy looks from their music, dancing and jumping room.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – update 9/9/21

Come on TMS, you’ve gotta help me fight the ongoing lethargy and apathy of lockdown. I had my treatment on Tuesday, but this past week, well, fortnight really, has seen me sleeping longer into the morning, eating a little less, sense of taste diminishing, and enjoyment of life falling back into a light grey cloud. I know a lot of this is situational, because of ongoing lockdown, so I’m going to have to up my game in terms of taking care of myself. This doesn’t mean doing even less, and surrendering myself to endless, mindless reading. It means staying off social media, waking up at 7.30am, and getting enough sunshine. It means moving my body enough. It means breathwork, and mindfulness.

I’ve been very lax with all of those, preferring to skim through books, and house paint. The latter is at least useful.

Spring is here, and my garden is busy, so a healthier action is to get out into it. Macro photography, nature journalling, spring planting. Let the earth have the stress, and maybe I’ll sleep more deeply, and less. I won’t be so dopey during the day.

TMS is essentially doing its job, but it, and I, have an uphill push against the weight of lockdown, pandemic, and the collective mood of fear, depression, and anger.

I still get a wee headache after treatment, but it goes a short while later.

I’ve brought forward my next phone consultation with the in-house psychiatrist, because I’m not getting any better, and I’m not getting any worse, so maybe it’s time to move to a treatment every two weeks, with vigilance to make sure my brain is holding on to the treatments.

I asked the Tuesday clinician if she knows of anyone who ‘graduates’ from treatment, and she said yes. She says some come back after a time for a top-up, as their symptoms have slowly crept back, but she has seen a few go off into their lives with a changed brain. I aim to be one of the latter.

Now, Satya, one of the best things you can do for yourself is adequate water, so go drink some, and have a careful think about how you’re going to order your afternoon to include sunshine, garden time, house painting, and whatever else needs to be done. This morning online poetry group, so you’ve sat all morning. Time to eat, drink, and get active.

Poem: Pennies

A penny saved is a penny earned.

I earned not a single one of the large box of pennies

found in the room under the stairs

in this house we rent.

Big Australian copper pennies,

some dating back to 1919.

A few have a red kangaroo on the front.

Rare one fetch up to fifty dollars.

A couple of minutes in salt and vinegar

and they come up shiny as new pennies,

if we still had pennies,

instead of faux-silver five cent pieces.

I’m saving them for the day

we escape lockdown,

and I can find a numismatist.

Money for old pennies,

money burning a hole in my pocket.

Money for the next lockdown –

must buy all the toilet paper.

*****

A frippery poem based on a Poetic Asides prompt to write about an adage. A penny saved is a penny earned had me wander through how odd that adage really is, my cat Penny, and then the box of pennies under the stairs.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – update 2/9/21

I guess I’m up to about session 46 now. Maybe? After my initial 30 acute treatments, I’ve lost track. Mood is still holding steady at about 3/10 for depression. Anxiety is a bugbear this week. Lockdown has been extended until September 22 I think. Another 3 weeks. Our cases keep on keeping on, the government hopes we’ll be at 70% vaccination by then, the population is beyond fed up and starting to ignore the lockdown restrictions, and I’m at exhaustion/executive dysfunction.

Apparently this week is not a fitness week. So far, tap dance and Active Seniors have bitten the dust. I have washed the kitchen and dining rooms floors, though. And spilled a whole bottle of eucalyptus oil on them, so they are smelling super fresh right now. I put a packet of bee-attracting seeds in the garden, but cannot make a simple phone call to cancel a chalk paint order. I have asked myself to read 25 pages of ‘Blackbird Pond’ by Alice Hoffman and decide whether I’m going to keep reading it, or put it on the ‘to go out’ pile. Instead, here I am doing my TMS update. It’s that sort of week, is it?

I’m not fighting it too much. That way lies guilt, and beating myself up. Instead, I’ll go with it, and what the brain wants to do. At least something will get done, even if it’s not what Capricorn Boss mind thinks should get done. It seems Aquarius Venus and Scorpio Moon are in charge for the moment.

Other than that, same old, same old. The TMS treatments continue at once per week. I did think about skipping this week, as I simply couldn’t be bothered, but I forced myself. I would have much rather stayed home, and done some dancing. I’m reading BURNOUT and it talks about completing the stress cycle by doing something that will release the tension from the body and mind. My choice is dance. And I’d just completed a 90 minute stressful phone call before heading off to TMS, underfed, under-watered, stressed, jittery. I took a walk afterwards, so that did something.

Anyway, I’m holding steady. My mind feels safe enough that it’s starting to render up emotion and memories during art therapy sessions.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – update 11/8/21

Normally I have my TMS treatment on Tuesdays, but somehow, a week got lost in my pre-booked schedule, and I had to phone up to add this week’s in. Friday morning. So, another couple of days. Not that the left side of my brain gives a hoot. The depression is just fine thanks, in abeyance.

The anxiety though. Yesterday, I felt myself getting into overwhelm with all the things I want to do. The old ‘so many things I want to do in a day that I don’t know where to start, it’s a mountain of chairs, so maybe I won’t do anything, I’m frozen’.

So, I texted ShinyGirl who has ADHD and said: “Frozen to the spot by all the things.”

She sensibly said: “Which one appeals the most.”

So I went and did some house painting. Other things did get done throughout the day, and it felt good, but I’m ever-mindful of not tipping over into the edge of mania. Not that that seems to be an issue these days. I no longer feel like I’m near the edge of that. I just get more stuff done in my day, because I am, every day, more full of energy.

Last night, I chatted on the phone with a girlfriend whose grandson suffers from OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He’s a teen. She said that sometimes TMS can help OCD. I need to go down a rabbit hole of research, and ask my clinicians if it can help, if they do treatments for it. And I need to find out if the first round of 30 acute treatments is now covered by Medicare, our public health system. I know it was going to be put on Medicare, but I’m not sure if that’s happened yet. I think all TMS treatments should be on Medicare. Because it helps many. And TMS shouldn’t just be for those who can afford it.

So, all good in my brain. Still on 1 treatment per week. 1200 pulses over 19 minutes on the right side, 3000 pulses over 25 minutes on the left. Chinese water torture, then woodpecker therapy. One hour out of my week, with say ten minutes to drive there, and ten minutes to drive back.

We’re in another lockdown, or maybe this is all part of the last lockdown because we were only free for a week. So the temptation to stop off at The Glen shopping centre for snacks and books is not there.

See you all next week for another report on my brain, and maybe some info about OCD and TMS. I feel like I’m talking Apollo moonshot acronyms. Roger that.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy – ongoing story

It’s been 8 days since my last treatment. I was supposed to have my once-a-week session yesterday, but the clinician phoned in sick, so I’m now having treatment on Friday(today’s Wednesday). Honestly, today, I’m tired. I’ve been awake since 3.30am. Combination of having to get up to wee, feeling that biorhythmic body low at that time of the morning and thus, internally chilly, and 2 of my 4 cats thinking it was time to yell for breakfast. I kept putting on the audio book of the moment (THE SCENT KEEPER by Erika Bauermeister is 5/5 for me), hoping I’d drift back to sleep, but no, I was super-interested in the story.

And what with Angel sitting on my pillow, yelling that it was time for breakfast, and Chloe walking on me, purring, bunting, and hopping over to chew on the prayer plant beside my bed, I finally gave up on sleep and just listened to the audio book and tried to feel warm.

I tense up when I feel cold. Thus, I have aches all over. A hot bath has only gone partway to alleviating matters.

Was it an anxious awake? No. No fretting. Just….awake.

To be honest, by the time I had breakfast and a cup of tea, I felt wrung out, cold, and tired. A little sad, perhaps. I think lockdown is getting to me, as is the super cold and wet weather. I write that just as the sun peeks out for half a second. Oh Helios, you messing with me?

Chloe is now curled up on one of the dog beds beside my little writing table, purring away. A tabby fur doughnut totally content with her world. Sure, purr it up, kid. You’re not the one dragging through the day.

The depression stays gone, but with this little sad here…well, time will tell if it’s a sad, or tiredness, or just season-related. I suspect the latter two. I don’t especially have that dragged down feeling of the abyss that accompanies depression.

I mean, I’m here, aren’t I? I’m blogging, as per my weekly date with myself to update about TMS.

I’m craving going out for breakfast or lunch with my husband. I’d really like to do that, but not for another couple of weeks at least. Lockdown Number 5.

Even if it is cold and wet outside, I must get out for a walk today. It improves everything.