"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

More Magical Resistance

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:22 pm
tarot_scholar: A black mystical-looking sigil on a white background. (Default)
[personal profile] tarot_scholar
One of my favorite Tarot/metaphysical bloggers is Benebell Wen. (I think my Christmas present to myself this year will be a copy of her Holistic Tarot.) I very much appreciate how she weaves Western metaphysical concepts and occult traditions with Buddhist and Taoist ones—from a deep understanding of all three traditions. As a lapsed and/or lazy Buddhist who has also been very intrigued by Taoism, you can see how this is very much My Thing. Anyway, my point is that Wen has this to contribute when it comes to the magical resistance:

For those who want to be the sideline cheerleaders supporting our witchy friends on their magical social justice endeavors, if this feels better, you can follow in the footsteps of Buddhist monks on their forms of peaceful resistance and protest against totalitarian regimes. This was done in Burma and Tibet.

Send strengthening metta energies to give a boost to those working the binding and those working actively in the mundane world to counteract POTUS #45. Do so by reciting as a mantra passages from the Metta Sutta, specifically as follows (in Pali):

Sukhino vā khemino hontu
Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhi-tattā

English translation:
May all beings be well and safe;
may their hearts rejoice.

I know, the English translation makes the mantra sound not perfectly relevant, but it’s craft and it’s used in esoteric Buddhism (and Taoism), and in the context of that craft, is relevant energy-wise. You’re connecting your personal energies and strength with the Divine or higher consciousness and then directing it outward to amplify the power of those who are in a tangible position to make a difference.


You can find a recording of the entire Metta Sutta here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRIaO-XCy-k

I've also been taken by Hecate Demeter's "Magical Battle for America" workings. In the comments there is a recording of the working, guided meditation style. I'm working on cleaning it up and also adding some sound/musical cues; I'll share that here when I finish it.

"You can't always get what you want"

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:31 am
rosefox: A Victorian woman glares and says "Fuck's sake, what a cock"; someone out of the frame says "mm". (disapproval)
[personal profile] rosefox
Archiving some Twitter threads here regarding cons and congoing.

Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention.  )

=====

Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )

Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.

"R&R"

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:26 am
rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (relaxed)
[personal profile] rosefox
Once more unto the vacation to-do list/wishlist. A whole week of vacation when I'm not ill! Such luxury!

Things with deadlines:

* NONE AT ALL

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (needs to happen today if it's going to happen, because the weather's going to be too hot and unpleasant the rest of the week)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

"The travel-model baby"

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:29 am
rosefox: A zombie from a Nintendo game. (zombie)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are HOME. I have rarely in my life been so tired, and I have spent much of my life being tired. This is non-Euclidean tired that collapses in upon itself. I'm sort of impressed by it.

As usual, Sam was thrilled to see me, Sophie was thrilled to see X, and Alex pretended to have entirely forgotten our names until we ordered pizza and he decided he wanted some. Tili took very good care of them. She also pointed out that our inexplicably huge basil plants grew enormous flower spikes during the three days we were gone. The leaves are yellowing a bit; might be time for more fertilizer.

I cannot overstate how tremendously lucky we are to have such a good travel-bean. They were really clearly Done With Everything around 2 p.m. yesterday, and very polite about our inexplicable failure to take them home right then. They didn't nap much on the train today, though they did sleep on me for about half an hour—it's such a pleasure to be slept on by a baby, and we were all jockeying a bit to be the one that Kit napped on; I only won because J needed to get up to get something and I snagged the sleepy baby and the blanket—but they were generally cheerful and amenable to distraction nonetheless, and as soon as we got home they chugged a bottle and sacked out. They even signed "train" while we were waiting for the train, and they made friends with another toddler who was riding in our car, trading many high-fives and handshakes. They really liked the train trips; we should do more train travel with them.

Next year, more and better planning. Definitely. But on the whole it was a very good con.

"Gonna fall down any day now"

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:11 am
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are at Readercon! We are having a very good time.

We took the train up instead of driving. There was a mess leaving Penn Station—we had to get off our broken train and get onto another one at the last minute—and a friend couriered much of our luggage, so that was all a bit of a logistical headache, and it's stressful being bound to an external schedule. But I actually haven't missed having a car (or even thought much about leaving the hotel) and I definitely haven't missed being the only licensed driver for a long trip. Maybe the train again next year; maybe not.

Me being sick for the crucial two weeks (two full weeks! June 26 to July 10! let's never do that again!) when we would usually do all our planning led to many hilarious planning failures, including not packing enough underwear, packing the wrong bra, not bringing enough warm clothing for a freezing cold hotel, never getting around to going swimming (after much fuss about making sure we all had swim gear—though of course we forgot Kit's swim diaper!), not bringing toothpaste, not bringing enough cash for housekeeping tips, forgetting that my new eyeglass prescription means my hoarded last pair of contact lenses was useless, and not scheduling enough babysitter time. Rarely has my behavior.planning.agley tag been so apt. X and J did their very best to make up for my incapacity, but we're all used to me being the primary planner, and at this age Kit is very distracting and makes it hard to focus on planning. I suspect that we're going to go home, sleep for a week, and then plan out our entire schedule for next year in advance.

I gave a talk on habit reversal training for writers that was extremely well received. That was very gratifying and enjoyable, and set a good tone for the rest of the weekend. I attended a few panels, was on a couple more, read none of my book and knit none of my knitting, had a really lovely time hanging out with friends, stayed up very late—the usual.

Some of it has been a bit strange. I'm now at the age where my friends tell me about their divorces; I was not quite aware I had reached that age, but it's happened twice in two days, so here we are. (To be clear, I am very glad I could be there for those friends. I just wasn't expecting it.) No one's slept much except Kit, who remains an absolute champion traveler and has taken a solid two-hour nap every day we've been here, including on the train on the way up (and will ideally do so on the train home). But we're coping.

I was nearly falling asleep during my own room party, and then after it was done I went out to the patio because 1 a.m. Readercon patio conversations are a superb vintage I only get to taste once a year. We talked about consciousness upload and replication, which led to digressions on neuroscience, parenting, and karma. Good times.

I must go sleep a lot now. A whole lot. Tomorrow: home.

The Astrology House Spread

Jul. 15th, 2017 05:27 pm
tarot_scholar: A black mystical-looking sigil on a white background. (Default)
[personal profile] tarot_scholar
I've complained about the Celtic Cross spread before. And I still hate it! In addition to a "general reading" spread of my own creation (details at the link), I like using the standard astrological houses spread for all-purpose readings, including ones for myself at the solstices and equinoxes. I'm fairly familiar with astrology, and much as I'm not really super into the brand of occultism favored by the Golden Dawn or Crowley et al. (it's a little Christo-pagan for my liking), I recognize that Tarot as the divination tool it is today owes a lot to them, so there are concessions I'm willing to make, and the astrological associations are one of them. I find it to be the best paradigm for the Thoth deck in particular, since it makes no secret of putting the astrology right there in the image for you. Not only that, but astrologically themed readings are by nature complex and systematic, and I can't think of two better words to describe the Thoth deck than "complex" and "systematic."

I should note that within its full context, an astrological spread like this would actually constitute the "third operation," and would only be performed if the first two were successful. But more on that in another post. I have become quite taken with the first two operations myself, but frankly I don't think you need them if you have your own method going, so I'll touch on them later.

Sometimes my understanding of the houses in the context of astrology doesn't always translate to a good intuitive feel for what they would be in a divinatory context, though, so this entry is as much an attempt to share knowledge as it is to nail it down, hah.

Before I dive in, here is some background information on the houses (in the context of natal charts).

Anyway, a finalized version of how I use the houses in a Tarot reading.

The First House

First and foremost, I see this as a summary of the upcoming period in question, or as a significator for the querent (depending on if you're reading about the future or "right now"). If it's a card associated with a particular sign, whether Major Arcana, Minor Arcana, or court card, it sets the the ascendant for the rest of the reading. This is actually really important, because this will determine which cards are well-dignified and which ones are ill-dignified.

For example, let's say that the card that turns up in the first house is The Chariot. This card is associated with Cancer, and thus puts Cancer on the ascendant. The next house will be ruled by Leo, and then Virgo, and so on.

If the card isn't associated with a specific zodiac sign as per the Golden Dawn (so: the Princesses, the Aces, and the elemental/planetary Major Arcana), the natural rulers of the houses are used throughout the spread. In a nutshell, this is how you figure out which cards are reversed (more or less) in the Thoth deck. How I do it, anyway. ;)

It occurs to me after writing all of this up that an alternative method of house distribution in a spread might be continuing until you hit the first zodiacal card in the spread. So if you have The High Priestess, the Ace of Swords, and then the 3 of Wands, you would start with Aries in the third house (3 of Wands being associated with Sun in Aries), which translates to Aquarius in the first house. Or maybe you would check the the angular houses first, than the succeedent, then the cadent. (Angular succeedent cadent whaaat?)

But more on this in another post!

On a less esoteric level, the first house in a Tarot spread represents:

your personality
your approach to the world
the persona you want to project
your body (materially, e.g. injuries or accidents; health overall comes later)

Paul Foster Case's method also includes "[your] own initiative and action" in this category. The natural ruler of the first house is Aries.

The Second House

The second house is about wealth. Specifically: how you earn it. What talents do you have? It's also a house about values: what do you value in yourself? in others?

The natural ruler of the second house is Taurus.

The Third House


The third house is about cognition. It's about knowledge -- the ability to grasp facts, and remember and understand them -- and it's about the world immediately around you. It's about short trips, writing, communication, and siblings. Neighbors also fall into this category, as does basic schooling.

The natural ruler of the third house is Gemini.


The Fourth House


The fourth house is all about family. From siblings in the third house, we're now moving back into ancestors. This is the house that rules the cozy, home-y parent (or the cozy, home-y side of both parents). Traditional gender roles ascribe this to mothers, but it's a new world and gender roles are bullshit. This is the house of the "good cop" in the "good cop/bad cop" parenting dynamic.

Beyond that, it's also the house of real estate, land and property, and everything else about roots.

The natural ruler of the fourth house is Cancer.



The Fifth House


The fifth house is fun. Love affairs, gambling, the arts, children, all that good stuff. This is all about creativity and expressing yourself.

The natural ruler of the fifth house is Leo.


The Sixth House

The sixth house is about work and maintenance and duty. What do you do to keep things going? What does your everyday life look like? This is also the house of health issues (not surprise accidents or injuries, but whatever ongoing problems that you need to take care of).

Case also notes "relations with superior and inferiors."

The natural ruler of the sixth house is Virgo.


The Seventh House

This is about partnerships, unofficial and official (but especially official). It's the house of marriage, contracts, open enemies, negotiations, and court cases.

The natural ruler of the seventh house is Libra.


The Eighth House

One of the two ~scary~ houses in astrology (the other being the twelfth house) because of its historical association with death and matters connected to it (inheritances, spirits, etc.). Good times! The other Big Two in the eighth house (besides death) are taxes and sex. The occult is also part of this house.

In Case's tradition (specifically within his sequence of operations), this house is some bad ju-ju (unless you're inquiring about a spiritual or occult matter). Its reputation is a bit softer today, and we generally refer to it euphemistically as a house of transformations. Its natural ruler is Scorpio.


The Ninth House

The keyword for this house is "broadening horizons." It's related to higher learning (university as opposed to primary school), philosophy, religion, long journeys, and the law. To frame it within the context of the old joke, the third house is about knowing that the tomato is a fruit; the tenth house is about not putting it in fruit salad.

Its natural ruler is Sagittarius.


The Tenth House

This is the house of persona and career. What's your role in society at large? How does the public perceive you? It's also associated with the "bad cop" parent (traditionally the father, but again: gender roles are for chumps) and authority in general: governments, bosses, etc.

Its natural ruler is Capricorn.


The Eleventh House

This is the house of friendship and ideals. Government is the purview of the tenth house; the eleventh is about aspirational political groups. Case also notes "hopes and fears; finances of the employer."

Its natural ruler is Aquarius.


The Twelfth House

The other ~scary~ house of the zodiac, the twelfth house rules the subconscious and the unconscious. It's the house of hidden enemies and blind spots, and it's also the house of anything that takes us out of waking, ordinary life: prisons, hospitals, substance abuse. Case also notes secret societies associated with this house.

Its natural ruler is Pisces.

For example: )

I'll leave out an interpretation there, because this is already getting long for what I wanted. But you can see at least how elemental dignities would provide important context for each card. You can also see why I think a spread like this gives a better snapshot of a person's overall life situation than the standard Celtic Cross.

The Proust Questionnaire

Jul. 11th, 2017 08:27 am
thesarahscope: (Default)
[personal profile] thesarahscope
 In honor of Proust's birthday yesterday (yeah yeah it's belated), my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Being rootless with no home and traveling out west with my husband and pets. Basically, I want a gypsy caravan with my loved ones that never stops. I'm a nomad at heart. I never ever want to come home. Home is within. 

2. What is your greatest fear?  It's a cheery toss up between death and going to Hell. Runner ups include: being electrocuted, driving, making change, and bears. 

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Being hot headed and proud. I go there all the time, but I hate it about myself. 

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Prudery

5. Which living person do you most admire?  My husband, Kelly. He has endless patience, and he is so kind. He makes it look like a cakewalk.  

6. What is your greatest extravagance?  Hah!  Everything about me is extravagant.  5+ dollar coffee every single day or all my time going to me?  I’m a bit of hedonist and everything is a bit over the top. I
 have a lot of extravagances which is why I don't have kids.  

7. What is your current state of mind?  I live in a constant state of 
Ouiser Boudreaux. I'm Ouiser after huffing essential oils today, though.  That state of mind is like a buoy bobbing on the ocean if you're wondering.   


8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Frugality or tact 

9. On what occasion do you lie? If you invite me anywhere, I'm most likely going to lie to get out of it at some point because of anxiety and depression. I'm the friend that flakes.  

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  Not that much, actually. I guess my thighs or super long ski like feet? Overall, I'm great with how I look.  I love my teeny baby sometimes lazy eye. I've become attached to my crowded big horse teeth.  I recently have embraced my plump arms that remind me of how much I loved squishing and kneading at my Grandma's when I was little. Yeah, I think I have babe status besides like 10 silver gray hairs that annoy me. It's liberating to love yourself.  

11. Which living person do you most despise? I'm not a fan of the current "President", but more so I despise the people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Paul Ryan who have the nerve to try to justify this as normal, and in my opinion, are putting party over country. 

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?  When I was young, I always said creativity, but I didn't know what I needed. When I fell in love with Kelly, I came to realize it was kindness. 

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?  Brashness 

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "Awwwwwww, Hell."  My husband will tell you I say it just like Nick Nolte. 

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, Kelly.  People say that stuff, but I'm truly mad about him. He's everything. I hover around him all the time with anxiety that something will happen to him. I wish I could lock him in the house or be in his pocket all the time. I know that sounds creepy, but I'm creepy. 

16. When and where were you happiest? Anytime with sunshine and warmth and a brief respite from my anxiety. When my mind is quiet, I am happiest.  

17. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could paint or be a fat ballet dancer. After I watch ballet, I try to do moves in the house which I feel are beautiful, but I'm sure look hysterical. If I ever get to Heaven, I would love to be a fat ballet dancer up there. You all better come watch me. 

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I could get over my driving phobia. 

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? This is the most difficult question so far. Getting a piece published that was deeply personal in a book?  Maybe just the fact that I continue to get up every day when I live in a brain that frequently hums with suffocating, unending fear. I live with a body and brain constantly elevated to red level terror alert. It sounds dramatic, but when you think about death and fear most of every day, continuing to exist is a victory. 

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I
 hope a monk or someone to be left in peace to study and focus on something more than myself. I want never ending quiet and a higher calling. 

21. Where would you most like to live? New Mexico 

22. What is your most treasured possession?  Letters and cards that Kelly has given me over the years/my book collection.  It's a tie.  

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Networking and/or icebreakers 


24. What is your favorite occupation? I wish I could do data entry all day long. Just tuck me in a closet with my own music or podcasts to listen to and no one around and endless amounts of data to enter. To most that would sound like boring hell, but for me, I would love nothing more. Unfortunately, I was born in the wrong period, and now, mostly people enter everything directly into the computer anyway so it's not needed. 

25. What is your most marked characteristic?  Being tell all. 
I have no secrets.  I'm an open book about everything.  I'm pretty passionate, too.  

26. What do you most value in your friends? Those who stick with me because it's not easy to be my friend. 

27. Who are your favorite writers? I could go on for paragraphs about this: Colette, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Bowen, Donna Tartt...I'm recently really getting into Faulkner. 

28. Who is your hero of fiction?   Léa from Chéri and Vinca from The Ripening Seed

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Marie Antoinette for her hedonism, love of leisure, and pugs 

30. Who are your heroes in real life?  People like my friend Natalie who seem to have this endless fountain of positivity  and joy and patience. No matter how stressful things are, she always seems to have time to give to people and without resentment! Women and men who choose to love themselves when society and/or the media tells them they're unworthy.  Hillary Clinton, who keeps getting knocked down and kicked in the teeth but always gets back up. My parents, of course.  

31. What are your favorite names? Cecilia and other names that sound old fashioned

32. What is it that you most dislike? the entire Hell that is Sam's with all of disgusting humanity clotted in front of the sample stands stuffing their faces, huge neck holes and thin shirts (the quality of today's clothing), and people singing happy birthday

33. What is your greatest regret? I don't know. There are many. Not applying myself in college. Being an asshole to my brother when we were young. Being unkind when I knew better.  


34. How would you like to die? Very, very old in my sleep 


35. What is your motto? I
 don't do inspirational posters, corny Hallmark cards, or mottoes.  

 

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