Saturday, May 20, 2017

Flower Power: A Divine Pair


This past full moon (Wednesday, May, 10th) I led a small ritual with a few friends. We were trying out a new space and just sort of getting a feel for the land spirits as well as trying to tame a bit of the magical chaos we had all been feeling lately. We celebrated the full flower moon with candles, sage, flowers, and a water centered magical activity. I had planned to write out a meditation to lead but as I began writing it felt off somehow. So, instead, I selected a Plant Ally Meditation from Youtube that I believed would encompass what I wanted to achieve with the meditative portion of the celebration. It probably would have. But it was recorded too softly for us to be able to utilize it during the ritual. I was faced with either improving a meditation or scrapping it. 

Thank the Goddess I chose to wing it. I did a Plant Ally Guided Meditation that took us into a dark and thriving forest to a small plant hidden within a rotting log. We each drew our respective plant-life from the decay and formed a bond with the spirit inhabiting the flower. After the meditation I asked everyone what their flower was and what the spirit looked like. It was really neat to hear everyone's experience. Magically I was able to relax enough, even while speaking, to find my own flower. At first I wasn't sure what it was but it was a red full bloom, thin, tissue-like leaves. I realized it was a poppy. This surprised me as my favorite flowers are Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, and Fuchsia. So I tucked this away, planning to look into the symbolism and the 'why' later. Hannah's flower was a blue daisy. Again a bit of a surprise since she's an Orchid and Rose girl all the way. 

Hannah learned later that the Daisy is Freyja's flower. It was sweet, like the goddess was waving to Hannah saying, "I'm still here with you!" 


The fact that flower was blue in Hannah's meditation is also interesting. It's one of the most calming colors in chromotherapy. It is also healing and it is the leading favorite color of the human race. It is above us and below us and universal. When I think Daisy I automatically think white so the blue was very deliberate. To be honest I didn't think blue daisies actually existed outside Hannah's meditation. I was wrong. They are quite real and quite lovely.


Inspired by Hannah's flower Ally and symbolism, I did a little research into the meaning behind the Poppy flower. The Poppy, of course, produces the poppy seed which leads to opium and all sorts of sleep inducing highly addictive substances. But the archetypal correspondence for the flower is actually Morpheus, the Greek god of Dreams. Which is rather appropriate as my last name literally translates into: the dreamer. 


I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and of dream analysis/divination and mythology in general. One of my stories deals with a Baku which is benevolent creature from Japanese folklore that survives by eating dreams, specifically nightmares. 


When I was younger I had vivid reoccurring dreams about an old robed woman who came down every night to make sure my family was asleep and if were caught awake, she would kill us presumably. It was a terrible dream, one which I had every night for months and months. Looking back on it now I wonder if it was my fear of mortality already creeping in at the tender young age of 6. Many of my dreams live on in story form or help me to create characters. So, long story short, the Poppy seems a very apropos Ally. 


Here's where it gets really interesting though:
For about two weeks I've been working as a freelance transcriber through Rev.com. It's not a huge amount of pay but I figure I can bring in an extra $25 or so a week and get a few side bills paid down (or, more than likely, put it all toward wedding expenses). Well, the other night I had a job that gave me some pause. As a transcriber we are supposed to type what we hear and not correct things that are misspoken by the speakers. Well I had a speaker say an author's name but she said it way off. I discovered the correct name and was debating on whether or not to put the correct spelling in or try to phonetically tackle the speakers gross mispronunciation. So I went to the forums on the site to see if anyone else had asked a similar question.

I didn't find my question but I fell down an immediate rabbit hole. There were so many interesting topics and threads. After perusing for a few minutes I stumbled upon a thread of a transcriber asking for help listening to a 3 second sound bit to see if anyone could pick out a certain word. The content dealt the energy and balance and the goddess. So of course I was curious! I clicked on the link to the audio and found that it was actually a video recording. I saw a woman speaking to a camera and thought nothing much of it until I noticed what was behind her: poppies and blue daisies.


Until that moment I would never have thought that red poppies and blue daisies could be a thing. Hell, I didn't even know blue daisies were a thing until researching them after Hannah's meditation. Shocked and inspired by this, I went on a google search to see if I couldn't find a picture of the painting behind the woman (you know, on the off chance that it was a classic or well known painting). I didn't find the painting but what I did find was further evidence of the marriage between red poppies and blue daisies.



Apparently these two flowers pair up nicely on many fabrics and prints. Perhaps a more popular pairing is poppy with cornflower or poppy with white daisy, but there was enough red poppy and blue daisy to convince me that not only is this combination a thing, it must somehow stem from some kind of archetypal knowledge. How random for Hannah to see a blue daisy and how utterly strange for me to pick a poppy. And yet, maybe it wasn't random or strange at all. Maybe it was just what we needed. I'm not entirely certain yet what the synchronicities mean for me or Hannah, but I know there is meaning and I find deep comfort in that.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pendulum of Self Doubt and Malaise and my OTPs

Fanart of Craig and Tweek from South Park.
I'm very much in rollercoaster mode these last few weeks. While I'm doing better with longer days and more sun, I'm still riding a pendulum that moves from "I can do this, I can accomplish all the things," to "who am I kidding?" at a rate that makes my head spin. Worse is that I think my body is reacting to my mental state in a very real way. For instance, I had huge and glorious plans for Beltane yet I ended up sleeping about 17 hours off and on from the time I got home from work on Sunday until Monday evening. I whimpered and fussed and cried a little. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I had a similar experience last night. 

One and Shell from Blood Bank.
I got home and unveiled all these plans to Hannah--plans to finally make the Bowie room into something useful for guests and for us, plans to get some writing done, plans to wage war with the squirrels in the back yard who have decided to attack my plants this year--and in the end all I could do was weep and whine and curl up in bed. I slept my 8+ hours last night and then crawled out into the living room for two more rounds of sleep. It's late in the afternoon now and I fear if I closed my eyes for even a second I would pass out all over again. I can't seem to wake up. I can't seem to make things happen. I did manage to write a small 5 page scene the other day for a friend. That is the first finished piece of writing I've accomplished since graduating from Solstice. It was a triumph and yet it reminds me of how far I've fallen in this respect. 
Craig and Tweek again.
Full time employment makes it very difficult for me. I know that's just a huge excuse. I know that there are lots of creative people who still make time to hone and perfect their craft while holding down a 9-5. I admire those people and wish I could be one of them but the truth is... there isn't enough of me right now. I give so much at work. I try not to over exert myself, I try not to let out all of my good energy while there, but more often than not that's what I seem to be doing. Leaving only my negative side for home. Leaving only my doubts and darkness. 

One and Shell again.
It doesn't always feel like that but lately I can't seem to shake it. I'm going to try to mess with the Bowie room today. But even just now, while writing this, I closed my eyes and ended up nodding off in a trance and typing a hundred or so w's.  I just want to wake up. Even when I'm at work I fight to keep alert. I think if I could open my eyes I could do amazing things. Why am I so tired? 

One of my absolute favorite fanarts of Craig and Tweek. If you know anything about the show,
you'll notice that they've switched idiosyncrasies in this picture. Love it. 
On a different note, I wanted to share and promote the Blood Bank Webcomic by Silb. It is absolutely amazing and it is a constant source of happy place for me. I don't know when or if a printed edition will be coming out but I'll put aside money and buy the shit out of it. Such a great fresh look at vampires and BDSM. 

Shell and One from Blood Bank. I can't stress enough how excellent the art and writing are.
The other source of silly happiness for me has, of course, been Craig and Tweek from South Park. I've recently binged on more South Park than you can shake a stick at (even a large stick!) and I am rather in love with Creek (the fandom name for shipping Craig and Tweek.) It's silly. But I don't care. It makes me happy. Also as fill this blog with pics of my two OTP couples, I notice that I do sort of favor the black-haired-blue-eyed seme with the blond-haired-green-eyed uke. Interesting.
 
Another great fanart of Tweek and Craig.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Welcome Spring!


The snow is almost gone. Things are thawing, melting, flooding, growing. Mud is the medium for Earth's expression. Mud and vines and the waking green. This past Monday I celebrated Ostara with a few friends. I started my period too, which, is kind of right on the money for Ostara. During the evening we talked about things here and there and in the end we drew Rune eggs from a cauldron. The Rune suggested things we have to look forward to/work on/focus on for the following year. My rune was Ansuz. This rune means Odin or god. It is the 'A' in our modern alphabet and how fitting because I have no less than eight letter A's in my full name. Three in my first name alone. 

A friend interpreted and divined for me that maybe this is the year to really form a connection with a god or goddess. While I'm very drawn to may deities, I have yet to feel one really claim me and become my patron. Maybe that's just not in the cards for me, but at the same time, I feel I really do want that relationship. I've thought about Thor, Freya, Skadi, Elen of the Ways, Herne, Innana, and several others as potential patrons but I don't know that I've really made myself available to them. I know that I am too in my head most of the time for even the smallest of meditations so really listening to the gods and to the wights and to the fairies and to everything around me is never easy. 


I am always looking to the fallen angel and watcher: Penemue. Enochian lore is very interesting to me from a spiritual and literary standpoint. About ten years ago I played around with a novel about a little fallen angel named Dobiel but didn't get very far. I wouldn't mind revisiting the idea but I would like to learn a lot more about the fallen angles before I do. 

Lately I've felt a huge pull toward 'darker' entities and deities. Sometime in summer I'm going to, with the help of a few friends, perform a ritual to honor the scary, misunderstood, dark, and commonly considered 'evil' of our spiritual brethren. Some of those I want to include are: Lilith, Lucifer, Loki, and Princess Luna. Yes, L was a very intense theme here. But there are more gods and goddesses and creatures that fit this category and I'm open to expanding it or even adding a second part. I know I want to keep the feeling of this ritual light and inquisitive and educational. This is a ritual to explore the necessary and positive aspects these beings represent, not to emulate their less admirable acts. 


In other news, the Hannah is doing amazing. She still has really bad days but more often than not she is finding solace and healing in her writing and I'm very proud of her. Right now we're working on building up strength in both of us. I'm walking to the bus stop again (and bitching about it because damn am I out of shape!); and she's going to start going to the mail box and walking me to the property line of the apartment complex when I leave in the morning, We're hoping that we'll both feel able enough to go and see the big cats at Cattails, which is a big cat rescue reserve in northern Spokane.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Surgery (not as glorious as 'Repo: The Genetic Opera' would lead you to believe)


So I haven't posted in a long time. About three months actually. Things have been difficult for me emotionally. Hannah and I have been fighting to get her a hysterectomy for a long time and the beginning of this year things finally started happening. She's written about much of the experience over on her blog and she's done a great job chronicling the stress and pain she's gone through. And now I want to express a little of what I've gone through as well. 

It is not easy to see your loved one suffer or be jerked around and treated poorly by those in the medical field. Hannah's suffered extreme vaginal bleeding for 8 out of the 9 years we've been together and as a result has been anemic as fuck. For those out there suffering from anemia, I'm so sorry, because it is shitty. It's more than just feeling fatigued. It is a condition that can permanently harm the sufferer if not controlled. In some cases, anemia (low hemoglobin) can lead to heart attacks and death. It's no joke. But for many, many years doctors looked at Hannah and said, "take iron," and sent her on her way. Well iron helps a little but no amount of iron is going to help when you're bleeding through 10 plus feminine pads every fucking day. This became the norm. I started to just accept that this was how it would be forever. But then at the very end of 2016 we learned that it didn't have to be this way. We got in to see a gynecologist and hysterectomy was suddenly on the table. 

For all those years we the frogs sitting in a pot of slowly warming water. But starting in January we finally saw the bubbles of boiling water and panic set in.

Things got worse. Suddenly and terrifyingly. Hormones, hemorrhaging, a trip to the ER, blood draw after blood draw, biopsies, pre-cancerous cells, an irregular EKG, so many doctors, so many ups and downs, a trip the Cancer Center and finally a date for the surgery, February 22nd. But then that date got pushed back. So then March 1st was to be the day. And February 22nd to March 1st was the longest week of my life. I cried every day, had panic attacks, felt a sort of premature loneliness creep over me as if I was preparing for Hannah to die. This was supposed to be just a run of the mill hysterectomy but all of the things around it (the alarmist verbage, the 5 wishes of a dying patient document which I had to sign, the mention that Hannah's weight made this a 'risky' operation) made me feel like Hannah was going to go to sleep and never wake up again.


But she did wake up again.

We arrived at the hospital at about 5:30am. During her pre-op I was allowed to sit with her. She was so nervous. So was I. We chitchatted a little and I told her everything was going to be alright. She wore a bind rune and a drawing of the four elements on her back and I no for a fact that these things worked their magic on both of us. I did cry a little with her in pre-op but mostly I was a silly, fun, strong fiance. The doctor came in and told us that she was going to make five incisions and sent in her robots to do the deed. Well, after she left, I told Hannah that essentially she was going to have Voltron inside of her, which meant that her uterus was Zarkon, which suddenly made surgery kind of epic and perhaps a smidgen less terrifying. She was prepped and taken in for surgery around 7:30 and by 9:30 the doctor herself came out to tell me that Hannah had done well and was in the recovery room. She said that they'd let me go and see her after a little while and that Hannah would be coming home that day. It was surreal. Just like that the surgery was over. It was as surreal as when you wake up in a different country for the first time and really realize where you are. 

There was a moment in post-op recovery that I broke down a little. I was leaning over Hannah, holding up her cup of water so she could drink from the straw. I saw a little crust at the corner of her eye like the salt left from an involuntary tear. I remembered the line in the '5 wishes' thing about "I wish for a warm wash cloth for my face" as a comfort requested by someone near death. Even writing about right now makes me cry a little. Such a small request with such a huge implication. And I just looked at her and imagined how this all could have ended up differently and how thankful I was to the gods that she was just groggy and thirsty and not fading away forever. She saw my crying and playfully, sleepily said, "you really are a wimp." Guilty a mother-fucking charged. I own it. I'm a wimp and I'm really, really happy that the surgery is over and we can start looking toward a future free from the daily worry, emotional and physical pain, and intense fatigue.

She's lying on the couch right now, struggling between medicinally induced sleep and the desire to stay awake and cuddle with me. In about four hours I'll wake her so she can take another pill. So far, aside from some pretty bad aching and a touch of nausea, she's actually doing amazing. I am still afraid to leave her alone. I've seen her shift from doing perfectly fine to sobbing in the bathroom within seconds, so I still want to have someone at home with her while I'm away during this next week for work. But on the whole she's just fantastic. 

And on the subject of fantastic, our friends and support network have been absolutely stunning in their kindness and consideration. I can't even begin to write or verbalize my thankfulness. I am touched beyond words and I know that had it not been for our friends and family, I would be completely lost right now. Thank you to the many who have made Hannah and I feel so very special and loved. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Here's to the Death of 2016


Happy New Year everyone. And I'm so glad it is a new one. 2016 was made of suck. In true Hannah and Amanda form we have yet to send out cards and letters. These are coming, I promise. They may arrive in July but, much like the ukes in Sensitive Pornograph, they are definitely coming. 

2016 took so many people and pets from us all. And it didn't leave without a fight. In the last week I managed to cut myself nice and deep on my thumb (new knife for Christmas doesn't leave one wanting!) and break all my nails. They are my natural nails and I'm used to the longer ones occasionally meeting with a jagged death but not all fucking ten nails at once. I look like... like... someone who cuts their nails. It's horrendous I tell you! 

But not all of the end was bad. There was a spontaneous Hobbit extended editions marathon one day. And Yule was made of ash, mead, reindeer fur, and three lone souls bearing witness to the birth of the new sun after the longest night. And what a sun it is! We've had some beautifully sun shiny days. Cold as fuck but sunny at least. 

Looking forward to the future: Hannah and I are going to start writing 6 hours a week. That's the minimum that Brander Sanderson, the author of the Mistborn series) prescribes his students in his college writing class. I think 6 is fair and more than doable. I think I shall start with a short story and then return to Death Man. I need to finish that so that I can do two things: send it out and get on my life! Haha. I feel trapped by my desire to make it perfect, but I keep forgetting what my first MFA mentor told me and that is - it will never be perfect. There will always be a sentence you wish you could tweak or a phrase that you want to go back and hash over again and again. In short, you will never be finished writing. You're never finished composing. But there comes a point when the book itself is finished with you. And that's where I need to be. And soon. 

There's a wolf moon coming up and I would like to greet the full moon in her splendor with wolf howls in the night. I remember last year's Wolf Moon and want to relive the energy though in a much more contained way. The aspect of wolf I want to explore this year is the cunning and sly aspect, the clever watcher from the shadows. I want to embrace those shadows for all the secrets and knowledge that may lie within. 

In other news: the two kitties are getting along remarkably well. They tolerated/cuddled on the same cat bed last night for four hours. However, Narcisa it seems is feeling very under the weather. She's thrown up (very tiny amounts) twice this week and this cat never throws up. I mean she's a rock solid warrior princess, she ain't got time for that shit! Yet she's thrown up twice that we know about and her voice is ragged and scratchy. That may be a result of all the hissing she threw at Thorin when he first came to live here but I think she's caught a cold or something. We're taking her to the vet on Thursday because we're paranoid mommies and don't want to just say "Oh, she'll get over it on her own" because what if she doesn't? What if she suffers for our negligence? So to the vet she goes.