tarot


I got a weird “spam” call the other day. I don’t usually answer numbers I don’t recognize, but I did this one. An older-sounding man said, “Hello. My name is Joe. We have so much bad news these days that I wanted to give my neighbors some good news.” “Okay,” I said in my skeptical I-don’t-know-who-tf-you-are tone. He continued, “It says in the Book of Isaiah—” At which point I hung up.

It reminded me of the summer when I was seventeen and fell in with a bad crowd. This all came about because of a super huge crush I had on one of my classmates in high school, and because I was graduating and not entirely sure of my direction, and because I was an introvert who wanted to feel part of something, and because of music. Lots of fun music and riotously fun Tuesday night rival-like meetings at a local church where they had gigantic, rollicking singalongs and talked in tongues and laid on hands and all that jazz. So I spent the late spring and summer of my seventeenth year on a journey of attempted indoctrination into the cult-like world of the Evangelical Christians. This was also the summer my BFF and I volunteered at the La Brea Tar Pits working in the labs there. A weird science/religion combo if ever there was one, but I was confused and exploring my options.

I won’t mention the particular sect I got involved with because I don’t want to paint an entire group of people with a broad brush. It all began with my crush, a newly minted born-again Christian, talking to me at lunchtime about Jesus. I had not been raised in any religion. My mother had always encouraged me to listen and make up my own mind about things. But I had “sampled” many of the Christian churches of my friends, both Protestant and Catholic, and I had been enchanted by the occult from my early teens. So I listened politely to my crush, mainly (if I’m honest) because he was cute and I liked the attention. Sometimes my BFF would join us in these lunch discussions. She was always more skeptical, asked more questions, had more objections to blanket declarations than I had. I suspect my crush had a crush on her. At any rate, he invited us to a Christian coffeehouse with him one Saturday where they played Christian-themed folk-rock and it was something to do for two introverted girls, so we went along. It was actually a lot of fun. The music was good, everyone was friendly, and there was a dynamic young long-haired preacher from New Zealand who made the rounds talking to the kids. (And he was really cute—with a dishy accent.) Things at the coffeehouse usually broke up about 11 and afterwards we’d pile into my crush’s car and drive all over L.A. and into the canyons to look down on the lights of L.A. and go to the all-nite eateries—all innocent, good clean fun. It was a blast, so it got to be a regular thing. Me, my crush, my crush’s BFF, and my BFF. Kind of like dating, except not.

The young preacherman at the coffeehouse would come around and chat with groups of kids. He was quite charismatic and emphasized over and over again how we needed to stop random people on the street and start quoting scripture to them because even if they resisted the message and scoffed, you could be planting a seed that would allow God into their hearts and save them. I won’t even get into how dangerous that would be for young girls to do on the streets of L.A., but regardless, I wasn’t about to do it. First of all, I was far too introverted to even contemplate such a thing, and second, I couldn’t help thinking that if God was such a mighty being why did he need my pissant help to open somebody’s heart? Seemed like he could do that on his own if he was into forced conversions. No, what the preacherman was talking about was a human need to spew scripture, a way of proving something to the same human doing the spewing. Like, I don’t know . . . that they were holier than thou? Or maybe, as I suspect was the case with my telephoning Bible spammer, something that made them feel like they were taking positive action in a world that was confusing and often terrifying and often felt like it was spinning out of their control.

But I won’t say that I was unfazed by all this, especially by the really cute preacherman and the sincerity of my crush (even though it became clear as summer waned that he wasn’t interested in me in that way). I was enchanted, to a certain extent, and briefly felt part of something larger and there was. . . fellowship. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful the draw of fellowship was to a questing, confused little introvert like I was then. (That’s how cults get you.) That enchantment even went so far that I allowed the preacherman to convince me that I needed to burn my tarot cards. Yeah, I know. (And for anyone who might be justifiably horrified by this, please know I would not do anything remotely like this now, but it was a weird time in my headspace.) I’ve regretted that so many times I can’t even tell you, but I was caught up in the moment.

Preacherman wanted to burn them with me present so I could be “released from Satan’s bond,” but I declined. I was already feeling uncomfortable about the whole thing and they’d been a gift from my two best friends who had pooled their resources to buy the deck for me, so I was feeling like a foul betrayer of their friendship and thinking I should just call the whole thing off, but, I mean, like, I’d already brought them there and everyone was staring at me expectantly . . . In retrospect, I realize the preacherman wanted that audience of kids to watch me watching those cards burn, hoping my reaction to being “liberated” would play into their acceptance of his message, but I didn’t get that at the time. I just knew I didn’t want to be part of it. Those cards did liberate me, but not in the way the preacherman anticipated.

He took them out to the parking lot with a group of followers (they didn’t want the fire marshal to come down on them for burning something inside the club) while I stayed inside. He was out there for quite a while and when he came back he was flushed with victory. He started preaching about how those cards of Satan had really resisted the flames. He kept lighting them and Satan kept putting out the flames but he prayed and prayed and finally they caught fire and burned with a great, bright fire. And all the while I’m thinking, “They had a protective coating on them. That’s why they resisted the flames. And that’s probably why they burned so bright afterwards.” The preacherman’s house of tarot cards collapsed in my mind at that point. It wasn’t the final final straw, but just about. I couldn’t help thinking that if he was full of shit on that count, what else was bullshit? I eventually came to realize it all was.

So a deck of Smith-Waite reproduction tarot cards—and science—saved me from an Evangelical cult. Something inevitably would have, I think, because I was never a true convert and my BFF had already called bullshit and I was much more accustomed to listening to her than preachermen (even really cute ones). But those cards were the catalyst. I still regret the loss of them, and I kind of wonder if maybe that’s why I can never get decent readings from Smith-Waite decks. They are almost always overwhelmingly negative. I can’t say I blame them for holding a grudge.

Yesterday I did a 4-card spread, inspired by something I saw by Dreamwidth user tjoel2. I used the Crow Tarot by MJ Cullinane, which has become the deck I feel most bonded with. The way I decided to do the spread was to ask four questions, draw a card for each and interpret each as I would in the Advice/Outcome position. I set my intentions, then asked/wrote out (my way of setting questions) two personal and two general questions. I won’t post the personal ones. Not that I’m trying to hide anything but I don’t think the world needs to read about my neurosis right now. (Although I fully admit that it’s possible my interpretations may have some of that neurosis leaking into the reading.) But I thought the other two cards might be worth sharing. These are my interpretations and I am open to hearing about others. (I am sure there will be others.) So:

Question: How will this pandemic affect the nation?

The Emperor Reversed is all about warning against arrogance, and about over-confidence getting in the way. It’s also about losing the respect that you crave. About not having wisdom, authority, and clear vision that’s needed for a successful outcome. This is about leaders needing to step up and do what’s right. Remember, I asked about the nation. And for me I think the non-emperor we’re talking about here, the one who is failing, is Donald Trump and his cadre of yes men. Individual governors and mayors are taking this seriously and stepping up to lead, but our national leadership has failed badly. The president who would be an emperor is acting as neither.


Question: Will our democracy survive?

This is about a time of quiet reflection and the passing on of knowledge. The knowledge comes from the tree of knowledge that the crow-hermit sits on; the lantern is the symbol of the wisdom needed to light the way; snowflakes represent cleansing and moving in a spiritual direction that will help fulfill the journey. We arrive at a good place by understanding how we arrived in the situation in the first place. The Hermit counsels going inward, quieting the mind, and connecting with the inner light, the light that will guide us. It still burns brightly if we allow ourselves to see it. If we listen to the guidance of our higher selves. “Remove yourself from the chatter” to receive these messages. Well, that will be a challenge in this fractured nation, but this card actually does give me hope. The bedrock of who we are, I have to believe, is still in place. Time and again, we have been challenged. It always seems to be tragedy that brings us together, to remember who we are, that deep, fundamental thing that used to be called “American exceptionalism.” Well. we haven’t been very exceptional lately and have turned our backs on the principles that made us strong. This card says to me (and maybe it’s just my ardent hope) that if we allow ourselves to remember those principles and truly live them (rather than just giving lip service), we may all pull through this and be a stronger nation on the other side of the crisis. One that has the wisdom to treat all citizens equally, knowing it makes us stronger when we do that, not weaker. A nation that truly seeks liberty and justice for all.

What do you think?

Well, this Musings post is grossly long, and maybe a bit dated, but I started throwing things into the file, then got caught up in the holidays—and God forbid anyone should be deprived of my Musings. [insert barf emoji] At least it has a lot of pictures.

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One of my most profound mystical experiences, or contact with the numinous, was invoked by a dead cat. It changed me from near-atheist to “oh I get it now.” Thank you, Mocha. The Mocha Hierophany.

Mocha, an old soul from the 80s:

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New Year’s Day sunset: Even enhancing the color on this doesn’t come close to the intensity of the light. Nothing ever beats Nature. Thank you, Nature.

The same sky from my friend who lives a few miles from here. This one captures the immensity of the sky better than mine did, how the clouds seemed to go on forever.

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Here’s a question for you: is poetry a purely mammalian response to the world? Is magic? Would intelligent and highly advanced reptiles, for instance, have that sense of wonder and awe and poetry? I don’t want to be Mammalian-Centric.

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I always think of the four of swords as the “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” card. (Yes, dad jokes help me remember the meanings.)

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A few days before the new year (December 30th) I found out that I share blood with one of the accused Salem witches (Mary Leach Ireson). We’re descended from the same ancestor (Richard Leech) through the brother (Lawrence Leech) of my direct ancestor (Thomas Leech). Maybe that’s why I’ve always been obsessed with these trials. I particularly like the “maybe you were a witch but didn’t know it” line of questioning. Apparently, the “maybe I’m a witch but didn’t know it” defense worked because she wasn’t executed and lived until 1711.


As I’ve said before, women rarely appear in the historical record unless they’ve suffered some trauma.

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I have so much work to do and a limited amount of time. But time is not my enemy. If I focus on what needs to be done, not allowing myself to be distracted, I will do what I need to do. The only reason I say it isn’t against me is because I will do what I can do. If time runs out, then it does. It will eventually anyway so why so sweat it?

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You know that weird stuff you have to clear from your parents or grandparents’ homes when they pass? When you reach a certain age you can’t be arsed about good taste. Sometimes you just want stuff that makes you giggle or because you know it will chagrin some of the people who inherit it.

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I finally got my Red Book set up so that people can actually see it instead of being hidden away in a room they can’t go in.

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Last month I pulled my novel Venus In Transit out of the trunk. I started working on it in 1999. It was inspired by Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality and later given shape and spin by George P. Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal. Plus all those thousands and thousands of paranormal shows I’ve watched over the years and many another paranormal book. I had the novel in a fairly polished state and was getting ready to start marketing it when my mother had a stroke and my world went all to hell for several years. Then there was the very long and painful writer’s block afterwards.

Things started to loosen up for me artistically after watching season one of Hellier last year—and that’s when I had my Hellier related synchronicity storm. Which let me know I was on the right track creatively. I finished one novel this summer and started working on another. Then Hellier Season 2 came along. It fed my head yet again, and there was something about the discussion in that series of pushing through frustration that reminded me of the artistic process.

Whenever an artist, or at least any artist I know, reaches a point of frustration it’s often the sign of imminent breakthrough to a new way of doing things. Pushing through that frustration is a vital part of the process. So I got out that old paranormal novel with an idea to see if it really was ready to market and I fell into a hole with it for about a week. That edit is done, but when I got to the part in the story where my investigator discovers strange, small, three-toed footprints with dermal ridges, I thought, “No one will ever believe I didn’t get this from Hellier.” But those are the breaks. Hellier2 did encourage me to pull it back out of the trunk and that’s got to be a good thing.

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Hellier is beautifully shot and edited. I remember when the granddaddy of paranormal shows, Ghost Hunters, premiered. They used that cinema vérité style which gave a feel of credibility (and because it was cheap to produce), but imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Most of what’s come since has been crap.

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My life is a lot better since I’ve given up trying to find ultimate answers. I’m more content trying to find ultimate questions.

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Well, I got within 100 pages of finishing Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson but my medieval porn book arrived so…sorry Neal.

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Cats exist simultaneously in this time/space and in hyperspace which is why they always seem to take up a vastly greater amount of space than their physical bodies would imply.

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I’ve been to both Disneyland and the “Disneyland of Cemeteries”—Forest Lawn—and I would choose to spend my eternity in neither of them. (Talk about terrifying!)

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Lt. Col. Vindman during the impeachment hearings reading that paragraph to his dad and talking about it? “Don’t worry. This is America. We do what’s right here.” We have to justify his faith in this country. It’s been what was true in the past and we can’t let it fall away. DO THE RIGHT THING, AMERICA. And Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi talking to Vindman about the pride of being an immigrant and being an American? Yep, that’s the essence of what this country it’s always been.

Got Fluffy Bunnies of Doom? No? May I recommend the tarot as seen through the eyes of F-Bod Studios:

This is a funny wall calendar representation of 12 scenes from the Major Arcana—but it also reproduces many of the key elements of the Rider-Waite deck. As filtered through the fluffy bunnies of doom, that is. A few of my favorites (sorry for the blurry copied-from-a-thumbnail-on-the-website quality of the images):

Here’s the URL for this calendar: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod.156871009

But there are other funny and arty calendars to be found here: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod/3622034

And the main shop with many irreverent t-shirts and “weird crap,” as F-Bod puts it, can be found here: https://www.cafepress.com/fbod

I was initially drawn to this deck when one of the people I follow did a reading featuring the Knight of Swords (yes, that guy again) and used the Familiars deck. The suit of swords in that deck are crows and as some of you may remember, I have something of a thing regarding crows. I thought, “Oh, I have to get that one!” (Any excuse to buy another deck.) But in poking around on Amazon I came across the Crow Tarot by MJ Cullinane. It looked great, and since I didn’t have the money for both decks, I bought that one.

I can’t tell you how much I love this deck. It’s not only beautiful it just—I don’t know, feels good. In the interview I did with the deck, when I asked, “What are your limits as a deck?” it answered with the Moon, which I took to mean, “I dwell on the shadow side and illusions.” But I haven’t found that to be so. Maybe if I work with it a bit longer I will, but so far I have found it otherwise. “How can I best learn and collaborate with you?” I asked. “I will show you play and wonder, new ideas.” (Page of Cups)

As soon as I took the plastic off the deck and looked at the first card (The Fool), the crows started cawing outside. This is not such an unusual thing as I feed the local murder and they’re always about in the neighborhood. But the timing was amusing. All through my two readings they were cawing and making noise walking around on the metal roof of the art room (also known as the bird’s room from when my pet starling lived there). They don’t often do that—but I had fed them a couple of hours earlier so maybe they were saying thank you?

This is a very “jumpy” deck. I’ve started using a loose shuffle technique to give cards a chance to “jump out” of the deck while I’m asking a question. (As the saying goes, “If it falls to the floor, it comes to your door.”) With the Aquarian and the Marseille, which I’ve also used recently, that didn’t happen too often. It happens a lot with the Crow Tarot. Also, it’s not uncommon for a small group of cards to turn themselves perpendicular to the rest of the deck, as if trying to reverse themselves. If that happens, I push them back in that reversed position and keep shuffling.

My friend came over Sunday for a “craft day,” something we do on a semi-regular basis in order to encourage each other to do work on projects outside our normal range of arty stuff. (She’s a painter, I’m mostly a writer, and taking an arty break from our usual disciplines sometimes shakes things loose in the more “serious” projects.) It’s also a great excuse for kibitzing. I was showing her the Crow Tarot because it’s so beautiful. She was going through it and talking about how she wants to get a deck and do daily cards, but she was also talking about her current struggle with her painting. She wants to go in a different direction and she has a clear vision of what she wants to do, but something inside her is resisting, holding her back.

She handed the deck back to me and I was just about the put it away when The Fool jumped out and landed on the floor between us—reversed for me, upright for her. I read out the reversed meaning, assuming it was for me, but it didn’t seem to fit my current situation without stretching things. I put the card back and asked her if she wanted to do the card a day thing with this deck. She did, and shuffled the deck, eventually turning up the top card: The Fool, upright.

“…The Fool card asks that you have faith in the universe and live fearlessly. You will come through the storm. If you allow hope to replace fear, imagine the adventures you have waiting.”

“All right, already,” she said. “I get it.”

I should also note that my card of the day for yesterday was The Fool. Upright. All right, already. I get it.

I’ve been working with the Marseille tarot lately and I quite like it. I’ve been finding a lot of clarity with it. When I “interviewed” the deck it said that its strength was in helping me reconcile conflicts [Temperance] and that has proved to be the case. I used it to find clarity with what the Knight of Swords has been trying to tell me and that seems to have worked. I basically told the Knight if I hadn’t gotten the message correct, he should show up again and so far he hasn’t. Fingers crossed.

This Marseille deck came to me in a strange way. Many years ago Llewellyn publishing offered a subscription service called, “Enhancing Your Mind Body Spirit.” The basic deal was that for a low monthly fee they would send you how-to cards and spiritual chatchkes on a variety of New Age stuff. (This was back before New Age became a subject of much mockery.) What can I say? It sounded like a good idea at the time.

It wasn’t long before I realized it was a diletante’s dream: one month I’d get an essence oil and/or incense and/or a couple of rune stones (building towards a full set) and/or small crystals, et al., and some cards I could file in my special notebook on such subjects as Reiki, aroma therapy, astrology, or whatall. Some months I would get a few Llewellyn reproduction cards from the Marseille tarot.

Although I almost never used the how-to cards (they were superficial treatments at best and designed mostly, I think, to get you to buy Llewellyn books on subjects that caught your fancy), the subscription was relatively cheap and I liked the chatchkes. I also had a lot more disposable income back then, so I let the thing ride much longer than I would have otherwise. But I did reach a point where I thought it was ridiculous and was just about to cancel the membership when Llewellyn sent a notice that they weren’t making enough money on this scheme and would discontinue the service. They phrased it nicer than that, but that’s the essence. They also said members shouldn’t worry about the partial rune and tarot decks or the incomplete cards sets because they’d send out one final large chatchke shipment. When I got mine, it had a complete set of runes, a complete Marseille deck (leaving me with about one and a third sets each), a final set of how-to cards and crystals and oils and incense. I put everything away and didn’t think about it again.

Until I pulled this Marseille deck out of my tarot box recently. There was no accompanying interpretation booklet. I suspect there were cards for that but in the chaos following my mother’s stroke in 2012 and the caregiving that followed, I put them somewhere “safe.” I’ve never found them again, of course. So I downloaded this, the late Yoav Ben Dov’s “CBD Tarot de Marseille” interpretation guide.

I quite like using this guide. So maybe that’s I find this deck so soothing at the moment. That’s at least one good thing that came out of Llewellyn. I know many people are skeptical of them these days, but back in the olden, pre-internet days, they were one of the only places—besides musty old esoteric libraries or specialist/used bookstores—that you could find stuff on mysticism and the occult. The internet has brought a fundamental sea change in these studies, but I am still grateful for those life rafts Llewellyn set adrift. They let me know that I may have been seriously weird, but at least I wasn’t alone.

Yesterday, I decided to try a new deck of tarot. I had a reproduction of the Marseille deck that I’d never used and was going through it preparing to ask what they call interview questions to get to know the cards. I was shuffling them, hadn’t even asked a question yet, but one of them leapt from my hands and fell on the floor, which is always supposed to be significant. It fell sideways so it was neither upright nor reversed.

What card was it? This guy:

I stared at it, gobsmacked, then laughed. What else could I do? I picked him up and immediately opened the Marseille interpretation booklet.

Upright: “Energy and resources to advance, still looking for the right direction. Hovering above practical constraints. Determination and perseverance.”

Reversed: “Confusion, negative and inhibiting thoughts, self defeat. Sloppy use of one’s own tools may cause damage.”

I was still puzzled as to what the Knight was trying to tell me, but in the interval between then and now, I think I have a clearer picture. I went back to when he first started making his appearance, when he came up twice in the same reading, both times reversed. It occurred to me that I should perhaps always read him from the reversed position? But then I thought about the way he’d landed on the floor, sideways. As if I were at a tipping point and it could go either way.

It also occurred to me that I am at somewhat of a tipping point in my life—physically, spiritually, and in my creative life. I’ve been treading water, not really pushing myself too hard, allowing rationalization to dictate my momentum (or lack thereof) rather than just getting on with things.

So maybe Mr. Knight is telling me to get over myself and get moving.

If that’s not what he’s saying, I’m sure he’ll crop up again because I firmly believe the Universe repeats itself until you do get the message. Sometimes with slaps upside the head. And the slaps get harder the longer you refuse to listen.

I’m listening, Universe. I just hope I’m understanding.

I think this guy is having a good laugh at my expense.

If any of you read my last Musings post, you may remember this:

I used this deck quite a lot at one point in my life. Can you tell?

Fortunately, the cards don’t look as disreputable as the box. And after literally decades of using this deck, I just discovered that I had two Knights of Swords. I’m not sure what that means. I would probably have never known if they both hadn’t come up in the same reading. Reversed. And yes, I guess the day of that reading had been about being, “indiscreet, extravagant, and foolish.” I’ve been through the entire deck now and there are no other duplications and no missing cards. But I guess I’d better pay attention to that Knight, hadn’t I?

Well, I dropped the deck and because the box is in such poor shape (and I hadn’t gotten around yet to tying a ribbon around it), the cards went kablooie, most of them sliding under a heavy table with a low shelf that I can’t readily see under. Given the arthritic state of my knees, getting down on the floor to fish under there wasn’t an option. I got a stick to fish most of them out, apologizing the whole time that I meant no disrespect, and managed to push the table enough to fetch the rest of them. Then I set about the business of reordering them (again) and taking inventory. Of course, the only card still missing was the Knight of Swords.

So I poked around with the stick some more, managed to push the table some more, but wherever he’s decided to hide, he’s well hidden. I retrieved the spare Knight of Swords from the mantelpiece where I’d given it a place of honor, and apologized again, hoping neither one of them minded the current situation. Next, I shuffled the cards and asked, “What the heck is the Knight of Swords trying to tell me?”

I drew the Four of Swords: “retreat, recuperation, exile.”

Dude, I didn’t mean to exile you. I’m very sorry. Or if you just need downtime, that’s okay.

I’m sure he’ll turn up again when he’s in the mood. Or when it holds some significance or messes with my mind the most. Or maybe he won’t. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I would say to my pagan friends the same thing I would say to my friends of any religion: beware thinking your way is the One True Faith. There are many paths back to the Source, but judgement and rigidity are not amongst them.
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I’d start calling him President Cthulhu but that’s an insult to Cthulhu.
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You know, I’ve supported Nancy Pelosi all this time but mostly kept quiet because I didn’t want to fight with people, often people I liked and admired. I’m a little ashamed of that, but oh well. I knew, you see, that Pelosi is one of the canniest and most experienced politicians in Washington and I knew she was holding fire for a good reason. Last week that reason became eminently clear: she was waiting for a smoking gun. One that these cretins couldn’t wiggle out of, one that the general American public could readily understand. It may be argued that the Mueller report was a smoking gun, but even Mueller himself obfuscated and demurred so much that it wasn’t something that could be easily conveyed to the larger public. But everybody understands the kind of brutish and heavy-handed strong-arming Trump attempted with Ukraine. It was schoolyard bully stuff and illegal and immoral as hell. It’s enough to start changing minds–except for his rabid believers, of course. Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and no one would hold him responsible. What he was too stupid or arrogant to realize was that when he did give Nancy Pelosi an easy-to-hold gun of her own, she would have no hesitation in pulling the trigger. Good work, Madame Speaker. I’m sorry I didn’t defend you.
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You know that overworked and ridiculous phrase in writing: “She (he) released a breath she didn’t know she was holding”? I’ve always loathed it in a work of fiction, but when the Ukraine news broke and with all the revelations that came out… I released a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
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I used this deck quite a lot at one point in my life. Can you tell?

Fortunately, the cards don’t look as disreputable as the box. And after literally decades of using this deck, I just discovered that I had two Knights of Swords. I’m not sure what that means. I would probably have never known if they both hadn’t come up in the same reading. Reversed. And yes, I guess the day of that reading had been about being, “indiscreet, extravagant, and foolish.” I’ve been through the entire deck now and there are no other duplications and no missing cards. But I guess I’d better pay attention to that Knight, hadn’t I?
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I was born in the last six hours of Virgo, just seven hours shy of the Autumn Equinox (West Coast time), so I have a hella amount of Libra in my chart. I was really feeling the effects of the new moon in Libra at the end of September. I tried to use that energy well. Balance and rectification. Throwing off the shackles of old bad habits that are holding me back.
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One of the best parts of living alone is that when I’m not feeling well I can sit around and groan and not worry about driving anyone crazy with my drama queen ways.
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I was watching one of those ghost shows on TV and the house owner was talking about how a ghost threw her cat across the kitchen. And there’s the cat sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with its leg up cleaning its nether regions. He seemed very unconcerned in general. She took the ghost hunters into the bedroom to talk about what happened in there and here comes the cat to sprawl on the bed. “I ain’t afraid a no ghosts.” In fact, I kind of regard cats as a reverse ghost monitor. If they are there and not concerned they ain’t no ghost there.
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Every time I watch the science channel I wonder if the people who came up with the SciGo acronym realized how close it sounds to “psycho.”
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When the estimable Dr. Lucy Jones, eminent geologist, says that she fears climate change more than earthquakes one should really pay attention. I saw her state just that in a recent interview.
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I may have finished writing something that seemed very much like the denouement of my current novel. Only the coda left, and that’s already half written. But it’s been a couple of weeks now and I still haven’t finished it. I can’t help wondering if this resistance is a way of preventing myself from moving on. Or knowing that once I finish that coda, I’m done with this world for the foreseeable future. I can’t see writing any more Dos Lunas stories any time soon–and I’ve lived there on and off for so long (since 2000), I may be reluctant to let go.
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I’ve come to the conclusion that I like having mindless tasks to do, things that most people would never have the patience for. I suspect it’s a Virgo thing.
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Oh yeah, that probably explains a lot about the last few months. I forgot until just last week that I have summer SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Somehow I manage to forget that every freaking year.

In April 2008, around the anniversary of the death of my Aunt Maxine, I started seeing 11:11 every day when I looked up at the clock. Not every time I looked at the clock because 11:11 only comes twice a day for those of us on a 12-hour clock, but often I’d feel compelled to look at the clock at this precise time. It went on for over two weeks and became rather unsettling.

What was the Universe trying to tell me? Something significant, or just that random chance sometimes gets stuck, throwing “heads” 85 times in a row?

Then I remembered my Aunt Maxine’s birthday was November 11 and wondered if it was her saying, “Hey, I’m still around. Don’t worry so much.” This was a comforting thought and the creepiness factor went away, although the 11:11’s didn’t. I kept seeing them for weeks after.

So I did what any semi-rational human being would do in such circumstances. I googled it.

Golly. There are a universe of beliefs around the coincidence of seeing 11:11. Yeah, I still (mostly) call it a coincidence, even though my personal anecdote seems to convey meaning, because post hoc theorizing and confirmation bias and because of all the fuzzy and convoluted theorizing I read online.

For instance, there’s this guy:

Um. I did scurry to my tarot to see what card was 11. It’s Justice. I thought, “If it’s the Hanged Man I’m going to mess myself.” Because for me that relates to 9/11 and I just didn’t know if I could stand that. The Hanged Man was 12.

Mr. Fuller is right about it being more important for me to find my own answers, but I looked online for more data points.

Uri Geller has a lot to say on 11:11 but I can’t tell you all of it. I fell asleep about halfway through his article. In all fairness to Mr. Geller, this strange phenomenon happened to me on more than one article on 11:11, which doesn’t always coincide with clear and concise theorizing.

Of course, no consideration of 11:11 would be complete without this:

However, some of the folklore surrounding 11:11 is charming, like the idea that if you look up to see it your wish will come true. Or when you see it repeatedly it means that you are beginning to “awaken” spiritually, and 11:11 is the indicator that you’re on the right path. Some believe it’s a sign that your angels are listening and you should ask for their guidance.

Other beliefs are darker, like the theory that 11:11 is a portend of great earth changes or history on the brink of something momentous…Actually, I don’t want to think on that one too hard, given recent seismic events in politics. I much prefer the belief that when you see 11:11, you should stop and consider the significance and importance of the moment in which you live. Of the moment, in the moment.

But Maxie, if that was you, I love ya, babe.

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