Biddy Tarot spread.
Star Spinners Tarot.
1. What insights did I gain in 2020 around what I want to achieve in 2021? Justice. Value and pursue what is right, not what is popular. Despite a ‘friend’ telling me that I’m wasting my time with my memoir, it’s important to me, so I’m carrying on. Also, Justice can point just as much towards balance as can Temperance. I learned not to go all out on anything.
2. Which areas of my life might benefit from creating a sense of order. 3 of Wands. Planning. I don’t have many actual plans and goals any more. Nebulous ideas and ideas, but this card is asking for big picture ideas.
3. How can I best support my financial goals this year? The Emperor. Concrete plans, clear eyed goals and aims. Where do I want to be in a year? With $4000 saved – $1000 for me, and $1000 for each grandchild into their coming of age trust funds.
4. What goals do I want to achieve in the next six months? 4 of Coins. Stability and control. Invest in experiences that bring joy, but save financially. I do want to be more of a tourist in my own state, see nature, be in it, and that’s free. Experience things in a way that don’t feel like missing out.
5. What kind of structure do I need to establish to support those goals? The Hermit. When I’m working, I’m inside, working. When I’m in the world, I’m in it. Taking time out on any adventure to sit, be, look, listen.
6. Which grounding practices would best support me this year? 5 of Swords. What the fuck? The hollow victory card? The betraying your own morals card? More elaboration please. Strength/fortitude. Courage. Ah, so that ju jitsu one-on-one training is the right thing. Thanks. But what’s with the Swords?
Spread from Biddy Tarot: I asked specifically in terms of my autism memoir, which is in second draft, and thus far, I haven’t touched since October, when I finished the draft.
Modern Witch Tarot deck used.
- Where am I now in relation to my goal? Temperance. One foot in emotion, one grounded. This card is about balance. At the moment, I’m off balance, because I’m not touching the work at all. That’s not balanced. I’m scared of the emotions still attached to it. I need to find ways to remind myself that this is all in the past, and happened a long time ago. There is still a lot of unreleased anger to do with my ex husband that must be dealt with before I can truly move forward into a productive space with this work.
- How am I in relationship with my goal? 6 of Swords. Well, no wonder Swords is coming up. All those thoughts tangled with emotion. It feels like the end is not in sight. In some decks, this card shows light at the end of the tunnel, but this card does not. The querent is in motion but does not know where they are going. Exactly. My big goal – this book will be the world’s biggest best seller. But I don’t know, emphasis on know, how to get there. This card often indicates a difficult decision. Well, there are a number of decisions I have to make with this memoir, and the main one is how much of my ex husband do I put in there. I do feel in dangerous waters there. Again water – emotion. First playing with it, then riding along on it.
- What do I need to release? 6 of Wands. Another 6, but this time to do with the fire element. No water here. My instinctive reaction is ‘anger’. The 6 of Wands is a victory card, parading along enjoying the moment. Yes, it was a big battle to get to the end of second draft, and I’ve been enjoying that completion, that time off. Release that victory and get back to work. Keep in mind that you got it this far, but keep going.
- What do I need to grow? The Emperor. The business man. The business side of building up interest in this book. Boundaries and structures around the actual work. Getting back into a routine(surprised the Hierophant hasn’t made an appearance, but 2021 = 2+0+2+1=5= it’s a Hierophant year), treating this as a job, and a career, not just something I play with. Grow that mindset. Venus in Aquarius and Scorpio Moon have ruled these past few months, and although I have a lot of past-the-memoir years stuff to deal with at the moment, it’s time to get serious again.
- What steps can I take? King of Swords. Be canny with my thoughts. Concentration, intelligence, truth, honesty, ethics, integrity. I owe it to myself to get going. And to consider the ethics behind what I’m doing. I’m writing about someone who cannot expressly give me permission to write about them. The Swords cards can also lack a certain compassion, so while they are all ‘get to work’, they are not considering my watery emotional self, who is afraid.
- What lesson will I need to master? 4 of Swords. How damned exhausted I am. Factor in that Hashimotos’s and fibromyalgia are real for me, and work small and often, rather than big exhausting jags. Work smarter.
- What might I experience over the next year? The Star. Well, that’s MY card. In the very first tarot reading I experienced, the outcome card was The Star, and I can still see my friend Lana embodying it as she spoke the interpretation. Hope, joy, and there’s that water again, flowing easily. One foot in water, one on land. Asking my star people, guides, and guardians to help me with this. The ibis, symbol of creativity, flies high. A good year overall.
- What worked in the past month? The Fool. Unplanning worked. Lol. The intuitive leap, and the moments where I was daring, and went outside my rigid thinking. That selkie poem just flowed when I trusted enough to let it happen. I didn’t find the 15,000 words that much of a slog when I set my mind to it. When I gave up formal dance training to just flit around. When I cooked by instinct, not recipe. When I knew what the problem was with the my body and acted accordingly(more collagen, less sugar).
- What didn’t work? Judgement. Magic didn’t work last month. Not even a hint of it. I didn’t ask for Divine Goddess guidance, or angelic help(because I’m still in two minds about angels). I thanked my parking fairies, but really, there’s so much parking on the few occasions I’ve been out that parking hasn’t been a problem. Asking for guidance didn’t work because I didn’t do it. BIG REMINDER TO SELF!
- What did I learn? The Hermit dropped out as soon as I picked up the deck. I learned that being lonely is just another emotion, not a life sentence. That I can endure it. That some solitude is necessary. That my life was too full before COVID. I learned a little about my inner light, and how I shine in the world. I learned a little about how easy it is for me to blend in by reflecting others, and not letting my true self be seen.
- What is the theme of this month? 2 of Pentacles. That old bugbear of balance. Never have I gotten it right. It’s always been full on with one thing, or another, but never a bit of everything. This month, I’m being asked, especially in terms of my physical self, to find balance. More yoga and balance poses? Not running myself into the ground just so that I sleep at night. A balance between mind, body, spirit. Managing those emotional ups and downs that the mind wants to take me on.
Set 3 goals and pull a card for each, and see if they align with your intuition.
5. Goal 1: 15,000 words of memoir for September(with a dash of ‘is this the final push for this draft?’): 7 of Pentacles. If I tend it, it will grow. The roots(first draft) are already there. I just have to take enough time and care to have them grow and combine into second draft. I have the energy and power within me to do this. Coming to the writing practice with a gratitude practice will help. How to find gratitude for each episode I write about. MAKE A NOTE TO DO THIS, SATYA.
6. Goal 2: Take 3 water colour lessons wherever I find them. The Moon. Hmmm, maybe I’m kidding myself here, since the Moon can be about self-deception. It’s also about facing my fears, and yes, I do have a lot of hang ups about art and me. As this morning’s water colour experiment shows, I have no idea what I’m doing. So, I can learn. The wolf and the dog howl at the moon – the wild and the tame. What happens if I lose control and unleash? Yes, I feel like art is the unknown and I’m drowning. I can embrace that, and learn to float on and with the breath. “Stop struggling to see that which you cannot see.” Accept beginner’s mind, and that I don’t know anything yet. On the surface level, maybe 3 lessons are too much on top of 15,000 words of memoir. I’ll leave that one up in the moonlit air.
7. Goal 3: rediscover that old belly dance choreography. Page of Pentacles. Balance again. A smaller goal, and of less significance than everything else in this spread. It’s the only minor arcana card. Earth magic, making something a reality, the exploration stage. Have it be that there’s nothing at stake except rediscovering it. Find the old music, find the instructions I wrote down, see what I remember. This is meant to be fun. Filming it can come a lot later. A hell of a lot later. Exploration is key here, not achievement.
August turned out remarkably productive, with me bulling my way through a spiral of down thoughts. Victoria is in Stage 4 lockdown, and while initially, I didn’t give a hoot, because I hadn’t come out of isolation, it’s now wearing me down. I long to breathe air outside that isn’t filtered through a few layers of cotton and muslin. I want to see the world through clear glasses, not ones that are fogged up to the point of me crying because I can’t see a thing. I want to walk different neighbourhoods, sit in a cafe for a cup of tea while daydreaming a new story or poem. I want the opportunity to not be afraid every second.
I completed the Intersections course I was doing, and have started rewriting some of the material generated.
I generated a new poem that I’ve sent to the Science Fiction Poetry Association competition. (Satya, it’s the selkie poem, if you’re looking back on this later)
I completed 15,067 words and 40 Pomodoro sessions for memoir this month, which proves I can still pull big numbers over a month.
The household is in a routine for cleaning, mostly.
I have started Painting By Numbers, which is pleasurable, and have branched out into 2 hour painting workshops. So far, I’ve done ‘Paint Like Banksy’.
I made 2 new Soul Collage cards, and participated in the August Soul Collage group.
I completed a 6 week astrology course, and have decided no more for now. My mind had a hard time wrapping around the aspects. The houses were new-but-old information that I properly absorbed and understood this time around. The aspects will take me a bit longer to ‘get’. Then it might be time for the next course ‘The Karmic Journey’, which requires understanding of transits.
I have eaten a large amount of comfort chocolate, and it’s paying out via pain and inflammation.
I’ve started consuming collagen again, and have noticed an immediate drop in knee pain.
The daffodils and jonquils have come up, but not the snowdrops. I see snowdrops in others’ gardens, and in Bellbird Dell, but not in my yard yet. The first roses are out. This year, the winner was the white standard rose in the front yard. Normally, it’s the standard yellow, but it shows no sign of buds yet. The yellow rose bush alongside the house has 5 large buds, and one open rose. The current bout of high winds might put paid to that rose hanging around for long. Two deep red tulips made a brief appearance.
Because of high winds causing power outages, Yarra Valley Water had to issue ‘boil your water’ warnings. There was, of course, a rush on bottled water. We were fine. We had power and gas, and could boil our water easily.
The days are noticeably warmer, and longer, with light coming to the world a little earlier each day, and staying longer at night. It’s no longer dark at 5pm.
I have got to get out of Victoria. I cannot take the cold weather any more. I need year-round light for my mental health. I need warmth. I need to take my husband and offspring and move near my daughter and her family. Missing them and still smiling is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Got 1001 Things To Do, Goals To Kick, Shit To Manage? Maybe these guidelines will help.
Do you have a husband, wife, family, housemates, others you are answerable to? Are important conversations relegated to car trips, over meals, during tv time, in bed, in passing in the hallway, or confined to surprise text messages? Any of these methods are like ambushes for some people, and lead to nagging, frustration, defensiveness, and Not Getting Stuff Done Because Everyone Forgets.
Schedule a business meeting fortnightly.
Bill and I have fortnightly business meetings. Anything that needs to be tabled is tabled, from finances, through to household maintainence, through to ‘what movie to see next’ to ‘honey, I’m worried about that constant cough’. We both bring our notebooks, pens, and our calendars.
That way, doctor’s appointments are noted to be made, emails gets sent, phone calls are made, and stuff generally gets scheduled in.
We meet in a café, after my weekly gym session. It’s neutral ground, and we can reward ourselves for our one hour business meeting by having lunch afterwards. Coffee and tea can be ordered during the meeting, but not food. Food distracts.
If you are not answerable to anyone, schedule a business meeting for yourself anyway. Sit down with your notebook, pen, and calendar and work out what you’d like to have happen in the next fortnight, and find out where to put those things in your calendar. Reward yourself with a meal afterwards, or whatever is a reward for you.
Every six months, I do a brain dump. Everything that’s been fizzing around in my head as a ‘must do’, ‘should do’, ‘fuck I forgot’ gets dumped onto paper in a big messy vomit. A big pad of kiddie colouring paper, and textas are my tools.
I give myself an hour, and yes, I schedule this in, so that my brain knows it’s coming. If I just sit down out of the blue and say ‘okay brain, what’s going on?’ my brain will say ‘nothing’ and refuse to cough up. But if it knows the brain dump is coming, it will sometimes secrete items for a couple of weeks beforehand.
This is where pads of post-it notes come in handy. I suffer anxiety, but when I say to my anxiety ‘what’s bothering you’ it acts like the information is top secret. It likes to trot out stressors while I’m at yoga, the gym, walking the dog, on the toilet, trying to watch a movie. Thus, I have small pads of sticky notes in jacket pockets, my handbag, in the car, and beside my yoga mat. That way, if a thought comes up, rather than stress about remembering it afterwards, I simply write it down, and my anxiety settles, and I can get on, knowing that whatever it thought was So Darned Important can be sticky-noted into my brain dump later.
After you’ve brain dumped, it’s time to categorise.
My personal categories are: Finances; Health; Writing; Spiritual; Family; Travel; Bucket List; Rest and Play.
Most of your brain dump items will come under the usual categories, with a couple of other personalized ones. Money, health, family of origin, created family, friends, spiritual life, travel, bucket list, love, and down time are the usual ones. You might have others. Your individual categories will depend on your passions, hobbies, and interests.
This is crucial to take dreams into reality.
I’ll give examples from my own life to let you get a feel for how I go about creating small steps from a big leap.
Financial: Through the One Million Women movement, I became aware of ethical banking and investments. I wanted to walk my talk more in terms of ‘saving the planet’. Last year, I wanted to move my banking, term deposit, and superannuation over to ethical companies that didn’t invest in non-renewable energy, animal exploitation, or eco-system destruction. My steps were:
-read the One Million Women website and note their advice.
-do some online research.
-read up on what my current companies were doing.
From here, I made dates in my diary to act on my findings. By April 20, I had to have moved my superannuation over to the new company, and written to my old one, explaining why. By August 20, I had to have moved my term deposit to an ethical bank, and told ING why I was moving. By November 20, I had to have moved my banking over to a new bank, which necessitated a list of its own (all the places that had my old bank account as a go to, including Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, and the regular debits that came out.
All those dates were in my diary, along with monthly reminders that this stuff needed to happen. Each item on the ‘change banks’ list had a date in the diary. They all happened, because they were in there, and spaced well enough apart that I didn’t feel panicky.
Spiritual: I wanted to return to a daily meditation practice. Habit is the thing here. I could put a reminder in my diary all I liked, but it’s easy to ignore that. So, a notice went up in the toilet where I’d be bound to see it at least 6 times a day. I put an alarm into my phone, and into my ipad. I downloaded a couple of meditation apps. Each day I meditated, I got to eat a chocolate. (When a child is first introduced to the Talmud, in Judaism, they are given a taste of honey, so that they associate learning with sweetness.)
Now, I can’t say I have a daily practice, but when I do make time for it, I’m a much better, less anxious person, and I do meditate more often than I used to. This one is a work in progress.
Family: my daughter got married in November 2018. I have a son who has autism, a mild intellectual impairment, a hearing impairment, and is non-verbal. Getting him prepared for the wedding was a year-long series of things. My list was:
– Create a poster of what the wedding would vaguely resemble, with faces pasted over a pic of a wedding party.
– Prepare my son for wearing a suit, and good shoes.
– Shop for the suit, and shoes.
– Prepare him for spending time with his father.
– Organise a support worker from his day programme to accompany him on the day, as my focus would be on my daughter.
– Draw a map of where the wedding would be.
– Give him the choice of staying overnight on Phillip Island with the rest of us, or staying overnight at the support worker’s house.
– Tee him up that there would be lots of photos.
– Contact the venue and explain his narrow food choices, and have a special meal set aside for him.
– Dvds and other things to occupy him in the hours before the wedding, and in the time everyone spends waiting for the bridal party photos to be done.
I’m sure there were loads of other things, but those are the ones that came to mind, a year later as I write this.
Summary: brain dumps, chunk big items down to a number of small steps so you don’t overwhelm yourself, spread those steps out in your diary so there’s maximum 3 in a week, business meetings, definite dates for stuff in your diary, give yourself rewards, follow through.
Optional: make a big poster of your categorized brain dump, so that you have the pleasure of crossing off an item once it’s achieved. Renew the poster every six months, because some things you thought were vital turn out not to be, and other things come up.
Keep reminding yourself that you’re building your life, one small step at a time, and that it takes time, doesn’t need to be an overwhelming freak-out thing, and that even those distasteful phone calls, boundaries you have to set, and awkward conversations are investments in a life you love more than the one you have now.