I want to open this post by first saying this: to all of you beautiful trans folks in our beloved queer communities, I love you, you are valid, you are perfect and you are wonderful. I want to know you, I see you. You are not a burden, you are not a distraction. The world is a shit show right now and I’m sorry that things are exploding in your faces right now.
That said, I’ve got another thing that I need to say as well, because I’ve heard it twice in my everyday life from ‘well-meaning’ white ladies. And that’s them saying that Donald Trump’s tweets are just a distraction from what’s going on around us.
And that is BULLSHIT. Yes, I’m sure our current president is trying to distract people from all the crap he’s pulling, but when he uses violence against queer folks, that’s not just a distraction. That is VIOLENCE. And don’t be mistaken or misled, the things he’s saying and doing are causing violence against some of the most marginalized folks in our communities. This is unacceptable and when you tell me that it’s not a big deal, it’s just a distraction, you’re telling me that my life, and the lives of queer people like me, is a distraction.
Also if you’re saying it’s a distraction you’re implying that queer people, because let’s face it, queers are some of the only people paying attention to this shit right now, can’t focus on more than one issue at once, then fuck you because it’s our entire lives. Our entire lives are trying to juggle the hundreds of different problems that queers face, and somehow we still manage to do amazing things, despite having the deck stacked against us at every turn.
If you’re looking for a way to be better ally: read this article while you angrily retweet things
A lovely article by Andi Grace about setting and keeping boundaries: Hawthorne Heart.
This one is a little silly, but you can now buy witch emojis for your iPhone! And it’s inclusive! There are POC options 🙂 WitchEmoji.
Frustrating: Feminist isn’t a bad word: Some of the cast of the Handmaid’s Tale are calling the tale “humanist” and not feminist.
and another article that talks about how the Handmaid’s Tale is pretty Queer. It also has a good section on the casting of a black woman to play Moira. Samira Wiley is awesome in everything so I was excited enough about that. Still haven’t gotten to see the new series yet, I don’t have Hulu, but I’m going to have to get it at least long enough to watch the show.
From a quilting blog that I follow: a way to organize your scraps of fabric. This is so relevant to my interests since I’ve started sewing so much more and now I have to wrestle with how to store my bits and pieces and scraps!
From Offbeat Home – 5 ways to be Period Positive and help end period stigma for everyone!
I really really want to make myself one of these mini nine patch pillows. But I have no idea what I would do with a throw pillow… and I’m going to run out of wall space. But I’ll figure something out.
Beth from LRT shares Ten People Free Decks you can choose if you don’t want people on your cards.
A beautiful little comic by Baopu about Therapy. So much love for this.
The Spicy Knitter shares: Life lessons learned while knitting
Today I planted some lavender that a friend bought for me. It’s a little EcoCube planter and it’s adorable! I’m going to grow it in the cube until it gets big enough and then plant it in my garden outside.
Love this one: Can I be a Witch without Tools? Spoilers: Yes. Tools are just tools, they can be helpers but you can work without them. I’m a huge proponent of witchcraft being accessible to everyone.
From Offbeat Home: An essay on “Bad Moms” and a great reminder to support the moms in your lives.
New podcast I just started listening to: Nancy by Kathy Tu and Tobin Low. About the show: BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed. Join them for provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today. Because everyone’s a little bit gay…
Little Fox Tarot proposes a Tarot Oath – and I’m down with that 🙂
How do you know if a Tarot reader is the right one for you: a guide from coming out Tarot.
It’s spring and I can’t stop thinking of flowers, so here’s a handy guide: 10 hardy shrubs you can’t kill.
A beautiful post from the hilarious Bloggess about chronic illness and going home again. If you don’t already follow her blog, do yourself a favor and follow her. Also go buy her books, especially Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. And thank me later when your sides are aching from too much laughing.
And I’m so behind the curve on this but I finally subscribed to Tarot Bytes by Theresa Reed, the Tarot Lady. And firstly, she freaking rocks, and secondly the podcast is great even if you’re not a newbie. And SUPER fantastic if you are a newbie to Tarot. Thanks Theresa!
Also from the Tarot Lady: an Interview with Cassandra Snow – author of the Queering the Tarot series. Great reading and fantastic advice to prospective clients and other readers.
Maybe you are wearing the right bra size after all. A lovely essay about inclusivity and undergarments.
“This proved one thing to me: The exclusion of nudes for women of color and the refusal to stock packing briefs and binders and trans-friendly fitting expertise was purposeful.
I say “purposeful” because exclusivity is a choice; it is always a choice. Silence is a choice. Doing nothing is a choice. It’s 2017, and even if it was 1952, excluding inclusive options for LGBTQIA+ folks and women of color would still be a choice.”
Loved this: Little Fox Tarot shared Q is for Queer. A short piece about queerness in tarot reading. I agree with her thoughts here. Get comfy with us queers, we’re not going anywhere.
A wonderful article from Autostraddle about tabletop gaming and D&D. I puffy heart love playing tabletop games with my friends and I recently started being a DM myself. I can confirm, it is awesome. 🙂
What I’m reading: all the quilting books I can cram down my gullet.
What I’m eating: lots of this mexican quinoa salad that I made for game night last week.
What I’m knitting: rainbow scrappy socks! And a giant slanket (that’s a shawl/blanket mix)
I would describe my practice of witchcraft as open but not loud. I’m an introvert and so my witchcraft (and tarot) practice is quiet but not at all in the closet. It pretty closely mirrors my gayness when I think about it. I am out to all my friends, family, and colleagues. I have (lots of) pictures of my wife on my desk at work and I talk about her without hesitating in all but the most dangerous of situations. I’m not about to head to a Trump rally and shout about being gay, I value my life, thanks!
I don’t wear all black and bedeck myself with pentacles, not that there’s anything at all wrong with that, I know some witches who rock that look and more power to them, it’s lovely. But it isn’t my witchy look. If I’m being completely honest here, my witchy day-to-day aesthetic is a pair of comfy jeans and a nice shirt, a piece of knitwear, and a few pieces of jewelry if I’m not being completely lazy. And two of those jewelry pieces are my medic alert bracelet and my wedding ring, which I would actually consider to be magical pieces of jewelry. The medic alert bracelet is a protection spell. Think about it. It’s a talisman that I wear in case I am in need of help that can get me the care that I need. It’s also a physical reminder to take care of myself and make the right choices to nourish my body. And wedding rings are powerful magic in and of themselves as a symbol and as a piece of metal that I carry with me everywhere that reminds me of my love. Mine is the simplest plain gold band that you’ll ever see but it is my favorite piece of jewelry.
If you come to my house one of the first pieces of art that you see is a little sign that says “Stay for a Spell”. I have a miniature altar over my stove, one in the bathroom, and half of my studio is my tarot working space. We have witch related art on our walls. A friend of ours has a lovely collection of happy witches, and I love that aesthetic.
I’ve read Tarot for my friends and some of my family. The other parts of the family aren’t super interested in Tarot or else I’d have read for all of them. I’ve gone back and forth over the years as to which flavor of witch I think that I am and I’ve sort of settled on no specific kind. Well, other than Wooly ;). I freely wander into the Solitary, Kitchen, Hearth, and Green Witch realms. I like using crystals and candles and you’d be hard pressed to find a working of mine without some lavender in it. I love representations of the Goddess and my practice is Goddess-centric, leaning a little more heavily into the Greek pantheons, but I’d love to broaden that.
I believe that spirituality and practice need to be about what works for you. Like my favorite yoga teacher always says, “If it hurts, don’t do it.” If it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Your practice of spirituality has to work to guide you and if you feel like you’re just going through motions and mumbling magic words, it’s not going to do squat for you. I struggled a great deal in my early days with spells that rhymed. They drove me insane and I would chafe against them because they felt idiotic to me, more like some little kid playing at being a witch than some powerful magic worker. And so I stopped trying to use them and I felt so much more centered and connected when I stopped trying to force things.
So, that’s me. Out and proud, but not shouting at people on the sidewalk. We have a rainbow flag in front of our house that we started flying after the election and I’m happy with our level of sound in our community.
But I do love me a witch hat!
My copy of the Dark Days Tarot arrived and I couldn’t wait to open it up and work with it! I backed the deck on Kickstarter and I’d almost forgotten about it. That something I kind of love about Kickstarter. I forget about them and then boom, surprise in the mail!
The Dark Days Tarot was created by Wren McMurdo. The deck is beautiful and I’m just going to spam you to bits with a bunch of pictures. This is the box that arrived in my mail box. With that beautiful art on the cover and two mini cards along with it.
On her site Wren says that the deck “is inspired by the darkest days of the lunar cycle.” She also says that in creating them she “channeled her connection to the moon and its phases, in congruence with pressing matters relating to the transition from Obama to Trump Presidential eras, in creating these cards. They are an offering to the healing power of darkness.” And I freaking love that. Also she’s queer, which is a double bonus 🙂
I also love how sturdy the box is, and what a beautiful presentation it has. I’m including a bunch more pictures here. I am really disappointed that it was printed on pretty flimsy card stock though, it’s thin, which means that it won’t hold up to really intense use as well as heavier cards. It makes it too easy to bend the cards and tear them when they’re thin.
Major arcana come on white background cards and the minors are all on black cards, it gives them an immediate striking difference which I like. I immediately liked The Fool card which shows a mother holding a small child. I liked that it shows that the Fool can be both the start and the end of the Major Arcana cycle. Each ending is a new beginning and they illustrate that beautifully. And the Magician card shows the magician’s work space with a book and crystals and the magical workings coalescing in the aether above.
The card backs are completely reversible and as you can see the cards themselves are square which is going to make it extra interesting laying them out, not only can they show up reversed, but they can appear sideways as well. I can see that leading to some really great nuanced reading situations.
One of the big things I look for in any Tarot deck is what is shown on the Lovers card, if it’s blatantly white cis and heterosexual I’m immediately turned off. This deck takes a really unique approach. The Lovers are human shaped mostly, but genders aren’t clear and they’re freaking mer-creatures.
There are a lot of mermaids in this deck and I love it. The Two of Cups features two mermaids clasping hands and I love the queerness of it all.
Lots of the Wands cards depict the wands as growing and blooming plants and it’s so elegant and beautiful that I couldn’t stop staring at them last night as I sorted through my cards.
Oddly enough, and I imagine this is just some technical issues with the first printing, I got a handful of extra blank cards with my deck and three or four repeated cards from the beginning of the series. Hopefully they aren’t missing from someone else’s deck because they were in with mine! It’s kind of a nice bonus because one of them is the Fool and I love the imagery on that so I might put it on my altar somewhere. I wouldn’t count on that though, as I said, I’m pretty sure that must have been a printing/packaging oddball.
There were so many that I loved and wanted to show you that I couldn’t fit them all, so take a peek at this slide show to see some of the highlights.
Two more that I did want to single out though were The Star and the Eight of Pentacles.
Just look at that Radiant Star card. I love it. I love the stars and the roses and the moons and just… I love it. It’s jubilant and wonderful.
And the Eight of Pentacles was absolutely perfect and bang on the nose for me lately. I cannot stop quilting and sewing, I’ve been at my machine almost every free moment lately. And check this out.
She’s creating a magical quilt at her sewing machine. It’s exactly perfect timing and spot on for me. One of the April Tarot Instagram challenges the other day was “What is your favorite Pentacles card” and I didn’t answer because I didn’t yet have a particular favorite.
Now I do. 🙂
I like this deck and I’m looking forward to trying some readings with it. If you like what you see take a look at the website. http://www.darkdaystarot.com/ And you can order your very own copy!
My entire knitting life is being taken up right now by making scrappy socks.
These socks are just socks I’m making out of bits and pieces of sock yarn left over from other projects. And I cannot stop making them.
This was the first pair. And they have leftovers from a hat I made for my wife, socks I also made for her, a bit from a giant lace scarf, some from a hat also knit for my wife, and several socks I made for me. Three of those are ones that I dyed myself too. It makes me SO happy to look back at them and recall all the projects that I made with the rest of those yarns.
Right now I’m working on an obnoxiously bright pair.
I worked on these neon rainbow socks during UNH’s 25th Annual LGBTQ+ Pancake Breakfast. It’s this fantastic annual even that we hold to commemorate the first gay student organization at UNH which was started in 1973.
Back in 1973 the UNH students weren’t allowed to have any kind of gay student organization, the school didn’t allow it. And those brave queer students fought that ruling all the way up the state supreme court where they eventually won the right to have that organization.
Part of their organizing efforts was trying to secure a meeting with the governor of NH. He absolutely refused to meet with those students and so they found a very clever way to try to get that meeting. New Hampshire Public Radio was hosting one of their annual fund drives and one of the prizes that you could win was a pancake breakfast with the Governor. So the UNH students raised a ton of money so they could win that meeting. The Governor still refused to meet with them, instead having a wealthy friend donate to win the pancake breakfast at the last minute.
Now UNH has a vibrant queer community, while we’re not without our problems, and we celebrate those brave queers by hosting our own pancake breakfasts and honoring those community members who have made a difference to our communities.
And one of the coolest things? In 2013, 40 years later, we finally got the Governor to come and have pancakes with us 🙂
From Autostraddle – Being Kinky Doesn’t Make you Queer
Have you heard of Habitica, gamifying your real life activities to make it easier to form better habits. My geeky little heart loves this thing!
Mood Board Monday: Rainbows – something pretty to look at 🙂
Hilary from Tarot by Hilary shares why she got started reading Tarot.
The Tarot Lady did a great interview with Melissa Synova who wrote Kitchen Table Tarot.
Asali shared a How to Survive Mercury Retrograde Spread.
LRT shares new Tarot decks for Spring. I’ve got the Dark Days Tarot headed my way already! Can’t wait.
In the Category of YES PLEASE, Combining tea and spellwork.
Even though a lot of us aren’t predictive readers Beth shared a way to use the cards predictively
From Lavender Moon: What to do when spirituality becomes a struggle.
From Northern Lights Witch: a glimpse inside her studio.
Make this Soup! Seriously: Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea soup. It’s vegetarian and you could easily make it vegan by omitting the heavy cream at the end. And it was delicious.
Check out the Fearless Girl Sculpture that just appeared on Wall Street.
A little late since it was Wednesday but: What to do if you can’t take off work for international Women’s Day. I would have liked to call out of work, but since I didn’t hear about that idea until Tuesday I wasn’t able to. I guess that means I need to get on some more mailing lists or something.
What I’m reading: Big Magic – the title kept buzzing around me and I kept seeing it mentioned in important places, so I took the hint and I’m giving it a shot.
What I’m knitting: Pegasus Parade Socks
What I’m looking forward to: A local thrift store is having a 99 cent book sale this weekend, so my wife and I are going on a book date :3
What I’ve been up to: teaching a friend to wheel spin and playing a lot of Lego Jurassic World (we finally got a WiiU and the new Zelda game is on its way!)
This report shows that Girl Scouts is freaking awesome. If you were wondering if you should sign up your daughters, the answer is yes 🙂 Being in the Girl Scouts did more for my self esteem and sense of empowerment than anything else in my life. – “These girls display more positive life outcomes compared with non-Girl Scout alumnae. These outcomes pertain to sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement.”
Saturday Morning Cartoons on Autostraddle: Finding your place at a protest and in the resistance.
Some self care that I’d like to indulge in – Make your own lotion bars.
Worts and Cunning has a great tea recommendation for easy evenings and self care. And I really loved, and needed to hear and share this advice: “When I’m feeling out of sorts, my self-care reassessment includes the following: Acknowledge you’re probably running on some false narratives. Case in point – if I take 30 minutes to stretch and meditate I will let down the entire radical movement attempting to overthrow the patriarchy. Guess what? That’s just not true.”
And from that above link I came to this one: The World is on Fire, but You Still Need to Eat Lunch.