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.

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 – Spring Bloom

Early Spring, and already a fine crop of lawn mowers

are showing in neighbour’s yards.

Yellow daisies self seeded from last year

are whipper-snippered away by new growth scythes and clippers.

Four streets away, the tall sunflower reach of a crane

sways alongside a woodchipper.

My two trowels are looking hardy, sprouted

amongst some empty terracotta pots.

A white cabbage butterfly perches

on newly-grown tomato stakes.

The Quickening – we all rush into our gardens

while the weather’s good.

*****

A random prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog was ‘write a Spring poem’. I’m sitting here on my green couch, having just planted some seeds, and several streets over is the noise of a woodchipper, and a crane. Some old, old trees are coming down. Yesterday, three neighbours were out with lawn mowers and whipper snippers. The sounds of Spring – petrol-driven motors, a big crop.

Poem: Dandelion Clock

I broke out the macro lens for my smart phone yesterday, and spent a happy hour snapping pics around the neighbourhood. It’s a workout in itself, squatting down to take the pic, sustaining my balance and stillness long enough to get close enough to the plant, then hold my breath, steady my hand as much as possible and…..wait for the slight breeze to give up before I take a pic.

This week’s prompt from Poets and Storytellers United is about examining something in close up. The success of Mary Oliver’s poetry is to focus intently on one thing and let its meaning unfold. She was a mistress of this art. And a bloody good poet. Which reminds me that I haven’t had any Mary Oliver in my life in a few weeks, and I’m overdue for nourishment. F.Gwynplaine McIntyre might be good fun, but there’s little soul in their poetry.

I’ve already written a poem this week about my Mr Lincoln rose bush, which is starting to leaf and bud in the Spring, but I want to go even closer now.

*****

Two ragged dandelions,

first in their neighbourhood class.

While the rest of the school are blooming,

they’ve been and done,

and are graduating to a life seeded on the wind.

Those long teenage stalks

with untamable fluff hair on the end;

white after all that study out of season.

Down in the heart of the dandelion clock

is dark,

where thoughts of ‘what will become of me’ lurk.

A stronger breeze urges the seeds from home.

That last exam I took at school,

the exhileration and relief at being out of there.

The next day afraid of what came next.

Was I expected to suddenly plant myself,

and be like my parents?

Poem: Mr Lincoln in My Garden

Poets and Storytellers United: this week’s prompt for weekly scribblings comes from my BFF, mentor, Reiki Master, sister witch, and prolific poet snakypoet, aka Rosemary.

Take an object in nature and examine it closely, letting it inspire a sense of wonder.

*****

You looked dead, Mr Lincoln.

I thought I’d pruned too hard.

I quietly mourned you for your lack of green.

You’re fairly old, Mr Lincoln,

with a lot of grey wood.

(Can I say that about a President?)

But here you come again,

with fresh red leaves

feathering the ends of your twigs.

The other rose bushes have knobbly buds.

You have sprouted, like a wand

in a nature-based tarot deck,

first one with leaves.

A defluffed dandelion pokes up through the middle of you,

Mr Lincoln.

Is it uncomfortable.

Are dandelions growing from the corpse

of your namesake, Mr Lincoln?

Is America’s dead President

a home to nasturtiums and borage,

like you, Mr Lincoln?

Forever faithful, back from the dead

of winter,

grow well, Mr Lincoln,

and govern your red and cream roses to come.

Guidance For Magical Folx

Sorry that this week’s Guidance for magical practitioners and the magic-curious went missing in action until today, folx. We are starting to learn Key Word Sign to assist TwentiesPerson on their journey to move out of the family home, and a lot of time was taken up with practice this past Sunday.

Anyhow, onwards.

The Sun is in Leo, and the Moon is in Virgo, and the moon is waxing towards full again, after the weekend’s emotional new moon in Cancer. A Virgo moon means we’ll be feeling that we want to get things right at the moment, everything in its box, everything tidy, honing our practices, no mess lying around.

Let’s see what the Songs For The Journey Home tarot has to say. This is a very different set of symbolism, and a fairly unfamiliar deck to me. I have owned a copy for a year, but haven’t really played with it. Here goes.

Dear Tarot deck, what guidance do you have for magical folx for this coming week: Tuesday to Sunday?

9 of Earth Songs, which is also the 9 of Pentacles. As you can see in the photo below, there’s a pentacles in the picture, and also a circle or coin. A person holds a baby. They are joyous, enjoying each other. The baby, or rather toddler, looks happy and confident that they are safe, well-held. The carer is smiling, their hands big. A wonderful safe time of play. Around them are pansies in glorious profusion. In the sky is a small salute to the Moon and Star cards of the major arcana. A sense of tremendous, wholesome joy and satisfaction comes from this card, which ties in well with the Smith-Waite interpretation of the 9 of Pentacles. In many decks, a woman is shown enjoying her solitude in her garden, or a gardener is shown well-pleased with the blooming garden around them. All that hard work is paying off in blooming profusion.

Magical folx, coupled with the waxing moon, it looks to be a fine time to be doing abundance magic across the world, for yourself, your community. Whether you want to go practical, with enough food to eat and money to pay the rent, or you want to go world-wide health with people’s immune systems being strong, and if you’re vaccine-minded, enough vaccines for everyone, or you want political leaders to start leading from a mindset of abundance, enough to share, and community spirit, this is your time.

This week, get out your green candles, feed your houseplants, write in your gratitude journal, give thanks to deities or universal energy. However you want to do it, feel confident that you’re tapping into the growing energy of the moon.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is past, and my grevilleas have flowered. One rose bush remains untrimmed because it’s still producing blooms like winter isn’t happening at all. It’s time to feed the rose bushes and the citrus trees.

Blessed be to all. Go forth and be abundant.

Poem: Coming Back From The Dead

Today’s inspiration: Easter by Jill Alexander Essbaum | Poetry Magazine (poetryfoundation.org)

Easter Sunday,

my husband attends church

to celebrate the son of his god

resurrecting from the dead.

The world insists on chocolate.

Around me, Southern Hemisphere,

the crops are in,

trees drop red and brown leaves,

the sky lowers by inches,

and roses make their last mad hussy dash

before the ground grows cold.

I have faith in them.

They will come back next year.

I’ll have crucified them with secateurs,

tied them to stakes,

sprayed them with vinegar and water,

and watched them be all but dead

through the winter.

Today, Easter Sunday,

I go out, and worship at the base of them,

stunned into believing in some sort of

vegetation god.